The Ministry of Energy to introduce exceptions form "10H rule"

The deputy minister Tomasz Dąbrowski announced during his speech before the Sejm on 30 January 2019 that there will be an exception to the "10H principle". This rule has, in practice, successfully blocked the development of new wind farm projects in Poland. The deputy minister stated that work is being carried out to abolish the restrictive criteria of this law. Especially important is the promise to abolish the "10H rule" for wind farm projects that enjoy social acceptance. At present, the content of the bill and the date of its publication are not known. It should be expected, however, that an exception to the "10H rule" will be provided for the investments supported by the majority of the population of a given municipality, which are not causing numerous protests. There is a possibility that this law will introduce a referendum mechanism in which the local population will decide on giving consent to the location of the wind farm.

The 10 H rule was introduced in art. 4 of the Wind Farm Investment Act, which entered into force on 16 July 2016. According to this provision the distance between a wind farm and a residential building or mixed-use building used for residential purposes, must be equal to or greater than ten times the height of the wind farm measured from ground level to the rotor blade's highest point. As scattered housing is popular in Poland, obtaining new permits for the construction of wind farms was practically impossible.

The first signal of incoming changes facilitating the construction of wind farms, were solutions introduced in the amendment to the Renewable Energy Act of June 2018. On its basis, the changing of the obtained building permits within the limits set by an environmental decision was allowed.

Moreover, the Ministry of Energy has officially announced that it anticipates the creation of approximately 2.5 GW in wind farms as a result of scheduled auctions. Therefore, it can be assumed that another auction will be held in 2019, and the operators of wind farms with a total capacity of 1.5 GW could become eligible as its beneficiaries.

For more information on servicing clients in matters related to energy law, please contact attorney Dominik Sołtysiak (