Very promising short-term prospects for the Polish PV market
Renewable energy sources finally caught the attention of the Polish government. With the package of energy regulations, including the Renewable Energy Law, the Energy Act and the Gas Act, Poland may form one of the most important new markets for renewable energy right in the heart of Europe.
If the current draft of the RES Law will come into force, there will be independent schemes for supporting the generation of electricity from RES. As of beginning of 2013, the existing Quota system for the support of large PV plants will be complemented by a Feed-in-Tariff that will apply to PV systems with a capacity of less than 100 kW. Both support schemes provide specific features that are rather uncommon in comparison to the schemes currently being used in European markets.
The quota obligation scheme with green certificates remains the main support scheme for bigger plants generating renewable electricity. However, the amount of certificates per MWh will differ according to the technology used. Until now, every RES plant received one green certificate for each MWh of electricity produced. The Polish Ministry of Economy will introduce so-called correction rates, which determine the number of green certificates issued depending on the specific technology. The duration of support has been shortened, too. Now, it amounts to 15 years from the date of commission of a given plant. In 2013, one MWh generated in a PV plant larger than 100 kW will be worth 2.85 Green Certificates. Based on current GC prices this will result in 0.165 EUR/kWh. On top of this an additional 0.05 EUR/kWh can be obtained for the generated electricity. The resulting combined revenue of 0.215 EUR/kWh is considerably higher than 0.11 EUR/kWh that PV plant operators can expect from the current support scheme. Due to the increased quota and the reduced support for co-firing, the GC price may reach the substitution fee as a price maximum in 2013, which will push the revenue for each PV generated kWh to approx. 0.258 EUR/kWh.
Provided the current draft law enters into force, the amount of the feed-in tariff will be 1.1 PLN/kWh or 0.27 EUR/kWh for PV plants with a capacity smaller than 100 kW. One of the remarkable differences to similar feed-in tariff support schemes is that the duration of support is not limited with to a certain number of years starting with the date of commission of the RES plant. Instead, the feed-in tariff support for all eligible RES plants will end 15 years from the introduction of the RES Law, with the end of the year 2027.
“The support for photovoltaic is very good” – states the Polish PV expert – Dr. Stanisław Pietruszko – who has been engaged in the introduction of the feed-in tariff for PV plants for more than seven years. The Polish government states that it expects 50 MW of new PV plants to be connected in 2013. Until 2020 annual growth shall not reach more than 90 MW and the sum of new commissioned plants till the end of 2020 shall amount to 600 MW. According to Mr. Pietruszko this estimation is too conservative and underestimates the ability of the PV industry for rapid deployment as seen in other markets. He expects that the amount of 50 MW will be reached in the first two months of 2013 already, because in anticipation of the new attractive law the domestic industry has already built a pipeline of pre-developed projects.
Source: eclareon Berlin, 11. September 2012