PROPOSED POLISH LAW WOULD "SHACKLE" WIND POWER, SAYS INDUSTRY REP
A draft Polish law that would impose a raft of exacting demands on windfarm developers is nothing less than a bid to sabotage the country’s renewable energy prospects, according to Europe’s wind industry. Under the proposal, developers would need to apply for a license to operate a wind turbine every two years. If they wanted to repair or modernize a turbine, they would first need to get permission from an inspector’s office, then pay a significant fee and reapply for another permit. Operators who repaired or modernized installations without permission would face hefty fines and up to two years’ imprisonment. Coal-reliant Poland has a reputation as a regressive player in Europe on climate change but actually has more wind power than Denmark, with twice the current installed capacity forecast to be added by 2030. At the same time, Poland is locking horns with the European Commission over plans to rescue highly unprofitable coal plants, which could fall foul of state aid laws. In this context, the clampdown on wind turbine construction rules could stir internal dissent. Julia Michalak, an analyst for the Polish Institute of International Affairs, said the proposed law would likely propel Poland’s energy policy even further away from the mainstream EU agenda. For the full story, see http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/mar/03/proposed-polish-law-would-shackle-wind-power-say-industry.