4 December 2018

Benefits for local communities and barriers to wind energy development discussed in Poland

The first Polish Thematic Workshop was organized on 4th December 2018, by the Polish National Energy Conservation Agency in cooperation with the Mayor of Orneta. The city is located in the Warmian-Masurian voivodeship one of the wind energy scarce regions in the WinWind project. The event gathered 30 participants: representatives of local authorities, from the University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, the regional energy agency, independent energy experts, citizens, school teachers and high school students. The organisation was supported by local independent expert Mr. Andrzej Koniecko, the former president of the energy agency of the region.


Participants were welcomed by the cairman of the City Council of Orneta, before being introduced to the WinWind project by Ryszard Wnuk and Piotr Nowakowski from KAPE. They highlighted the project's objectives and approach, and elaborated on the status of wind energy in Poland in regards to the RES 2020 target, as well as Poland's foreseen Energy Policy until 2040 and details of specific regulations (e.g. energy auctions/tenders) relevant to wind energy.  Next Andrzej Koniecko, presented the wind energy development in the Warmian-Masurian Voivodship, focusing on barriers and social acceptance issues: Wind energy faces resistance from NGOs engaged in environmental protection, as well as administrative barriers and local authorities’ dislike.


Before opening the floor for dicsussion, Piotr Nowakowski and Ryszard Wnuk presented the main outcomes of the Literature Rewiew undertaken by WinWind on barriers and drivers for Wind Energy, as well as its main recommendations, and elaborated on the good practices and lessons learned identified in the project.


The remarks and opinions expressed by audience in the discussion were as follows:

  • Present policies and regulations do not favour (to put it mildly) on-shore wind energy development. National energy policy is reflected in regional and local land use plans where wind farms are not predicted in many cases. The new law on wind energy investments (from 2016) is very restrictive in regards to the distance between buildings and wind turbines.
  • For local societies administrative procedures to be passed by investors are unclear and too complex.
  • Among local society a belief is prevailing, that wind turbine development is forbidden in general.
  • There is lack of own financial resources of local community residents as a potential investors.
  • NIMBY- not in my back yard - phenomenon exists.
  • A distrust for foreign investors is dominating.
  • There are negative experiences with firms and individuals (in some cases at present serving prison sentences), which used wind energy development plans to swindle local citizens.
  • Many actions conducted by potential investors failed and did not pass initial discussions what generally undermining trust for next potential investors.
  • Growing interest in PV weakens an interest in the wind power.
  • The local authorities are aware of potential benefits for local communities (taxes), but the very complex, difficult procedure of wind turbine establishment or the general believe that it is in fact impossible, do not encourage to take-up any efforts and activities towards on-shore wind development.
  • Andrzej Koniecko recommended to increase of social acceptance by deployment of “Danish model”, implemented in Samsø community, where government was provided a warranty on credit taken by small investors to participate in wind investments. The credit was secured by the value of generated energy in future.


The participants expressed the opinion that the presented WinWind good practices and also others are solid base for formulation of recommendations to be addressed to decision makers.