Changes in the functioning of the renewable energy sources market in Poland
In the first quarter of 2016, PGE Dystrybucja – one of the major energy distributors in central and eastern Poland – connected renewable energy sources with a total power of 22.14 MW to its network. Almost one-third of the newly connected network consists of micro-installations. Meanwhile, over 1,500 requests for connecting micro-installations are waiting for realization.
Numbers are constantly growing. By the end of March 2016, the distributor had already connected a total of 3,740 renewable energy sources installations to its network (total power: 1.38 GW), including 3,157 micro-installations.
The Energy Regulatory Office, which is the official authority controlling the energy market in Poland, has in the meantime published a trial version of the Internet Auction Platform (IAP) on its website, an IT tool with which the President of the Energy Regulatory Office will carry out auctions for the sale of electricity from renewable energy sources in the future. With the trial release of the IAP, the Energy Regulatory Office aims to familiarize renewable energy producers interested in participating in the auction system with the principles and different functionalities of the application.
New IT tools are linked to an on-going legislative process of amending the Act on Renewable Energy Sources, which was adopted in June by the Sejm (lower chamber of the Polish parliament). In the further course of this process, the Act was discussed by the Senat (the upper chamber of parliament), which did not support the opposition’s request to reject the Act. Senators proposed, however, several amendments that are to be considered once again by the Sejm. The Act changes provisions relating to support for the producers of renewable energy.
Representatives of the majority of stakeholders in renewable energy sources are opposed to the solutions proposed in the Act. They predict that these changes could lead to a collapse of the renewable energy market and the bankruptcy of many operating companies. According to government statements, changes provided for in the Act are aimed at reaching the 15% threshold of the renewable energy share in total energy consumption by the end of 2020, which is one of the objectives of the EU energy policy as well.
New provisions are to come into force on 1 July 2016 with the introduction of the ‘renewable energy sources auction support system’. It will replace the previous scheme made up of ‘green certificates’ and support for prosumers
- simultaneous producers and consumers of energy from small renewable sources. Under the new auction system, the government will order a certain amount of renewable energy and renewable energy producers will then join the auction. The producer who offers the best conditions (usually meaning the lowest price) wins. New regulations provide the greatest support especially for those technologies that produce energy in a stable and predictable way. Reduced support will be allocated for the production of energy from wind and the sun.