Poland made great strides in 2012 in uplifting its renewable power capacity, however a leading industry spokesperson says that if transparency and regulation aren’t agreed on soon, that positive momentum could be lost.

Katarzyna Łukasik of the Polish Wind Energy Association told PEi this week, “There is a lack of relevant legal regulations enabling stable development of the sector. In recent months the mood among investors has been awful.”

“2012 was an exceptional year for Polish wind energy – not only in terms of another record in installed capacity growth. Green energy production from wind turbines also grew very positively,” she added, before warning, “Despite that significant growth of the wind energy sector in recent years it may be very difficult to meet our targets – in particular from a 2020 perspective.”

Considering Poland’s huge, long-term, concentration on coal-fired power generation, the strides made recently in stimulating renewable growth have been relatively impressive

Poland has the second highest coal power dependency in the world, with the source representing 90 per cent of its power generation.

Lukasik fears that the government’s lack of speed in introducing new energy legislation may see a loss in impetus for the long neglected green energy sector’s progress in the country.

“The climate amongst investors is now dominated by the RES Act. For the wind energy sector here, a lack of transparent long-term regulations is proving the major barrier to the quick development of new investment.”

The European Commission has referred Poland to the European Court of Justice for failure to implement directives aimed at getting the country compliant with emissions targets set at Lisbon in 2009. The country may end up paying fines of up to EUR 85,000 per day, once a ruling is handed down.

The Polish government are now scrambling with domestic legislation aimed at somehow avoiding the punitive fines coming their way if targets aren’t met.

There is no doubt that Poland possesses great capacity potential should regulations favour renewable development over the next decades. The independent Renewable Energy Institute states that the true market potential of wind energy in Poland by 2020 amounts to about 11.5 GW onshore and 1.5 GW offshore.

According to Ms Łukasik, “the figures are much higher than assumed in the Polish National Renewable Energy Action Plan. In the long-term the industry may substantially increase its share in the national energy mix.”
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