Can you elaborate on the potential growth of wind energy in Poland and what needs to happen for the country to reach its full potential?

Our recent report shows that wind energy in Poland can reach up to 10 GW in a stagnation scenario and up to 24 GW in a growth scenario. These numbers are consistent with other studies that have been done, such as the Institute for Renewable Energy, which sets the minimum potential at 11 GW and maximum potential at 22 GW. The National Centre for Emissions Management has also conducted analyses that show onshore wind potential of approximately 21-23 GW in 2030 and 26 GW in 2040. These numbers indicate that there is enormous potential for wind energy in Poland.

However, there is one significant barrier to developing this potential: the distance rule, also known as the 10H rule. The 10H rule stipulates that turbines must be located at least ten times their height away from residential areas. This legislation is hindering the development of wind energy in Poland. Once this rule is removed, we believe that wind energy can be developed quickly and at a competitive price. We hope that this legislation will be passed in the first half of 2020.

Education is another crucial aspect in countries like Poland where renewable energy is still a relatively new concept. We have made significant efforts in the past year to educate ordinary citizens about wind energy. Our social media platforms receive over one million viewers every month, indicating a strong interest in this topic, but also highlighting a lack of education.

What measures are you taking to tackle this issue of mass education?

We are treating this subject as a priority, and our messages tend to be simple and focused on providing basic knowledge. Social media is a strong tool, but we also drive other types of campaigns. For example, in 2019, we organized an educational roadshow in different holiday resorts along the Baltic coastline. During this roadshow, we shared educational brochures, hosted ecological quizzes and games, and provided information about wind energy during play.

In 2020, we are launching a short movie for children titled “Let the wind blow,” which talks about the causes, effects, and counteractions of climate change. We plan to broadcast this film on national television.

How do you assess the collaboration between PWEA and public authorities?

We have had ups and downs in the past, but we have been communicating very well with the government in recent years. Through our studies, we are able to show the impact of the wind industry on various dimensions of the economy, such as lowering prices for end consumers. The price of electricity is something that the government is very sensitive about, and an aspect which allows us to have open and constructive dialogue with decision-makers.

What are your plans for Siemens Gamesa in Poland in the coming years?

We are keeping our eye on the five projects we have mentioned, and we are confident new projects will come about after the December 2019 auction. We are also looking for new multi-brand opportunities for our service business. It will be a busy period, keeping in mind the integration with Senvion, which we hope to run as smoothly as possible. As far as legislation is concerned, we are observing positive signs from the government for both onshore and offshore wind energy, and we are looking forward to 2020 with optimism.

When do you expect the first offshore wind capacities to be active in Poland?

The draft of the Offshore Wind Act has recently been published, and we are counting on an efficient legislative process. If the act is passed by the end of June 2020, the first turbines could start producing electricity in 2025. With offshore wind in place, we can meet the increasing domestic demand and become an exporter of energy in Europe.

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