Electrical evolution in Poland
Demand for electricity in Poland is constantly growing, but the coal-rich nation is reliant on aged and polluting coal and lignite generators. Commendably, Poland has committed to source 15% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020, up from 9.4% in 2010.
There has been considerable EIB investment in Poland’s energy sector as a whole, over EUR 2bn and counting since its first operation in 1990. To support the country’s ambitious renewable energy plans, the EIB provided a PLN 178m (EUR 45m) loan for the construction and operation of a wind farm, located on two sites to the east and west of the village of Margonin, north of Poznan. The 60-turbine wind farm became fully operational in April 2010 and, with a capacity of 120 MW, is one of the largest of its kind in the country.
Margonin produces enough electricity to meet the demand of about 55 000 households, and accounts for 5% of Poland’s total installed wind capacity. Harnessing this much power from the wind enables CO2 emissions savings of 260 000 tonnes per year, compared with burning coal.
The wind farm has also had economic benefits. With a final cost of PLN 751m (about EUR 180m), the project has created 300 person- years of temporary jobs during construction and commissioning and 10 permanent positions for the operation of the wind turbines. The municipality of Margonin itself has enjoyed increased revenues from land leasing thanks to the project, while residents have also benefited from the improvements to the local road network.