Poland may double wind power capacity by 2030, lobby says

WARSAW (Reuters) – Poland has the potential to double its installed wind power capacity by 2030 but the industry needs faster permitting, improved auctioning procedures and must find a way to mitigate soaring costs, the local wind lobby said on Wednesday.

Boosting wind farm investment is a milestone Poland has to pass to unlock billions of euros of European Union recovery funds. The EU seeks to double installed wind capacity by 2030.

Poland now has over 9 gigawatts (GW) of installed onshore wind capacity and is set to start building the first offshore wind farm next year, the Polish Wind Energy Association (PSEW) said.

Wind capacity can more than double by the end of this decade and reach 38 (GW) in 2040, PSEW said. The industry could create as many as 160,000 jobs in Poland by 2030 and generate 180 billion zloty ($45.31 billion) in investments.

Poland’s new government plans to relax the rules that have practically blocked land for investment in new turbines since 2016, when the ruling Law and Justice Party changed onshore wind permitting laws.

The other hurdle, the length of permitting process which now may reach nine years must be reduced to a maximum of five years, said Janusz Gajowiecki, head of PSEW.

“We’re positive, the new government has already signed the EU’s wind energy charter, stakes are high and Poland must change the rules to allow for fast permitting,” Gajowiecki told a news briefing.

($1 = 3.9722 zlotys)

(Reporting by Marek Strzelecki; editing by David Evans)