Political shift in Poland - a new momentum to the energy transition?

Poland’s electricity generation emits more emissions than that of any other European country. In 2021, it emitted more than 750 kilograms of CO2 per megawatt hour generated. The EU average is less than 300 kilograms. Should the balance of power shift, Poland’s position on the energy transition could also change.

For years, strict regulation made the expansion of wind power almost impossible. One example of this is the so-called 10H regulation introduced in 2016. According to the regulation, the distance between new wind turbines and houses had to be ten times the height of the wind turbine. In practice, this is around 2 kilometers for modern turbines. The 10H regulation made 98 percent of Poland’s territory off-limits for constructing new onshore wind turbines. The regulation was loosened in early 2023, and now the distance must only be 700 meters.

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While renewables have been suppressed for a long time, the PiS continues to stick to coal production. The claim is that it guarantees Poland’s energy sovereignty. The last coal mine is only to be closed in 2049. The country then aims to reach its net-zero target in 2050. So far, about 85 percent of energy consumption originates from fossil fuels, with coal accounting for 45 percent.
The elections could contribute to the energy transition is through the EU’s recovery aid. The EU has frozen around 36 billion euros because Poland’s judicial system is no longer independent after its reform. Changed majorities could help these funds finally flow and thus also benefit the expansion of renewables.

  • johnte ndeto

    34 w

    Leading in emissions is really not a good sign at all

    • Sarah Chabane

      35 w

      The result of this election could be very encouraging for the EU energy transition!

      • Rashid Kamau

        35 w

        Cross-ministerial policymaking is required.

        • Tabitha Kimani

          35 w

          This is what we all need to here. Positive actions/policies and regulations.

          • Rukia Ahmed Abdi

            35 w

            Poland's potential political shift towards loosening regulations on renewables and moving away from coal could be a game-changer for the country's energy transition. With one of the highest CO2 emissions per megawatt hour in Europe, Poland's energy landscape needs transformation. The easing of the 10H regulation in 2023 is a positive sign for wind power development.

            • George Kariuki

              36 w

              I hope that the political shift in Poland will lead to a more ambitious energy transition plan.

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