Poland Bans Wind Power & Orders a Double Helping of Coal to Keep the Lights On

polish wind farm

Over-run by these things, faced with thousand of furious neighbours demanding an end to the onslaught, and spiralling power costs, Poland has mounted an enormous about face: where wind power was the flavour of the month for a year or two, it’s been hit with an outright ban.

Worse still for Polish wind-worshippers, their government, faced with an erratic power supply and rising prices, has decided to serve up a double helping of coal to keep the lights on.

Poland Shuns Wind, Doubles Down on Coal-Reliant Future
Sonal Patel
1 August 2016

Poland, a country where hard coal and lignite power plants currently generate about 85% of the power, has passed a law that stymies a wind power expansion and is now mulling draft legislation that will help boost investments in new coal capacity.

The eastern European country has bucked the trend toward renewable power that many countries on the continent are following, citing energy security reasons. But while Poland is one of the most energy-intensive economies in the European Union (EU), it has one of the most isolated power systems in the bloc.

As a temperature spike last summer demonstrated, the nation’s power supply is stretched tight.

In August 2015, when a lasting heat wave reduced the amount of water available for plant cooling, some power units were forced to shut down or operate at reduced load.

Paired with other unexpected plant shutdowns (Figure 3), it prompted state-owned grid operator Polskie Sieci Elektroenergetyczne to introduce temporary restrictions on power consumption that affected more than 1,600 mainly industrial customers.

poland power

Bełchatów Power Station.


When a giant falls. During a prolonged heat wave in August 2015, that lowered water levels in rivers and lakes, some conventional power units in Poland were forced to shut down or operate at reduced loads due to cooling problems.

The power system reserves of the isolated grid were dangerously stretched by the abrupt shutdown of the nation’s largest power plant, the lignite-fired Bełchatów Power Station, shown above, after a technical failure. Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons/Morgre

The Polish system will likely continue to be constrained until new projects come online.

Several new coal units are slated to begin operating between 2017 and 2019, including state-owned Polska Grupa Energetyczna’s 1.8-GW plant in Opole, ENEA’s 1-GW project in Kozienice, and Tauron Polish Energy’s 900-MW facility in Jaworzno.

The government says Poland desperately needs even more capacity because more than 75% of its existing fleet is more than 26 years old and demand is surging. But investment has been limp owing to low wholesale prices, declining free carbon allowances, and a rising share of renewables across the EU.

Several coal and natural gas plants that were under development have been shelved as a result, and the power sector has urged the government to establish some form of capacity payments to support the profitability of units under construction if market conditions remain subdued, as expected, until 2020.

Meanwhile, the government has awarded sizable subsidies to a number of Polish coal mines that are unable to compete with imports, and reform is unlikely for a coal sector that employs up to 130,000 people, mostly concentrated in the Upper Silesia industrial region.

Unsurprisingly, the country’s new government—dominated by the conservative Law and Justice Party that ousted the long-serving liberal-conservative Civic Platform last October—has resisted the EU’s ambitious climate targets. But lately, it has also been accused of sabotaging the country’s renewable energy prospects in favor of the coal sector.

At the end of June, the president signed a controversial law that bans the building of wind farms close to national parks and residential areas and requires wind farm operators to get an operational license every two years and secure permits to repair or modernize turbines.

Credit rating agency Moody’s said the law will curb investment in renewables, tighten the reserve margin, and complicate Poland’s efforts to generate 15% of its power from renewables by 2020 under an EU mandate (currently, 13% comes from renewables).

Poland will likely rely on biomass and biogas to fill the gap, it noted. At the same time, lawmakers are now drafting legislation designed to help its coal-fired power sector drum up investment for more capacity. According to Reuters, the draft law will be made public this fall.

turbine collapse ireland

It’s a flop in Poland too…

About stopthesethings

We are a group of citizens concerned about the rapid spread of industrial wind power generation installations across Australia.


  1. Frankly, Poland is not so smart in general;-) But, Poles are immune to the propaganda, because of our 60 years living in f..ing communism. There was a mendacious propaganda, believe me!

  2. Reblogged this on Patti Kellar.

  3. It’s interesting to see that the countries in Europe that come from Socialist dictatorships are using common sense and facts to control their behaviour.
    In Western Europe, it’s the opposite. Decades of postmodern/left-wing brainwashing through massive left-wing “public service” media, red-green journalists and teachers in state schools have created societies where everything is based on political correctness and ideological thinking, and nothing on facts and reality.

  4. Hi,

    I started a petition “SA PREMIER JAY WEATHERILL : Demand the resignation of the Energy Minister for HIGH POWER PRICES CAUSING SA’s JOBS CRISIS and also 15,000 household POWER DISCONNECTIONS, frequent POWER BLACKOUTS and the JULY 2016 POWER CRISIS” and wanted to see if you could help by adding your name.

    Our goal is to reach 100 signatures and we need more support.

    You can read more and sign the petition here:


    Please share this petition with anyone you think may be interested in signing it.

    Thankyou for your time.

  5. Reblogged this on UPPER SONACHAN WIND FARM and commented:
    Poland must be congratulated for setting an example for others to follow. The adverse health impacts caused by being forced to live in close proximity to wind turbines are a major reason to reject this technology.

  6. Does your “Stop …” “wind” include stopping the coming energy-kite wind energy industry?

  7. Reblogged this on WeatherAction News.

  8. 4TimesAYear says:

    Reblogged this on 4timesayear's Blog.

  9. Reblogged this on Climatism and commented:
    Smart Poland for not falling for the eco-extremism, fear and alarmism that is driving the supposed climate change “crisis” and the subsequent trillion dollar industry associated with it.

    Smart Poland for not pandering to extremist groups, activist scientists, green-washing corporations and self-serving political elites like the UN and its bureaucratic bohemith.

    Smart Poland for looking out for its people and workers’ welfare, employing the wonders of cheap, reliable, dispatchable coal-fired power, keeping energy costs down, thus ensuring jobs and wealth remain at home, not shipped off to China or abroad.

    Smart Poland for identifying wind power as nothing more than monuments to the folly of mankind’s collective eco-insanity. Or as James Delingpole so aptly describes them, “bat-chomping, bird-slicing, eco-crucifixes.”

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