November 1, 2012

Poland's draft renewable bills would give greater support to large solar plants

Stanislaw Pietruszko, the head of the Photovoltaic Association of Poland (PVAP), says the country’s new renewable energy act could increase Poland’s solar capacity from 3MW to 400MW by the end of 2013.

Poland, which gets about 85% of its power from coal-fired plants, is poised to join Ukraine in offering some of Europe’s highest solar subsidies as its economy grows.

“The proposed rates are very good, higher than those in Germany,” Pietruszko says.

German developers such as Gehrlicher Solar and Conergy are preparing to tap the Polish market once the new rules come into effect. Chinese companies are also “on the starting blocks", according to Pietruszko.

Poland’s Institute of Renewable Energy lists the FIT for installations larger than 100kW as US$0.337 per kWh for 15 years.

Poland’s current Green Certificate scheme has sparked a boost in investments since its launch in October 2005. Each tradable certificate, which utilities are obliged to buy, averaged US$0.772 per MWh last month. The plan would triple support for large solar plants under the new progamme.

The east European nation is seeking to lure investors that have turned away from Germany, Italy and the UK after cash-strapped governments cut subsidies for clean-energy projects.

Poland has no utility-scale PV plants operating, even through its solar conditions are similar to that in Gernany – Europe’s largest market. The bill will also introduce FITs for small projects.

The Ministry of Economy has forecast 50MW of solar capacity in the first year rising to 600MW by 2020, according to PVAP. Reports suggest while the latest draft of the bill introduces a 10MW limit on solar plants, there will be no cap on total installations.

Prime Minister Donald Tusk’s government is seeking to double the share of energy provided by clean sources by 2020.

Poland has already developed a wind-power market with about 2.3GW of capacity.
However, the Polish Wind Energy Association (PWEA) has expressed concerns over the impending legislation.

In contrast to the big pluses for the solar sector, PWEA claims the new law leaves wind in a worse position and could hamper developments.

The economy ministry says it aims to approve the renewables bill along with two others for energy and gas by January. “The bundling of three bills will probably lead to a delay that could push back the legislation until the middle of 2013,” predicts Pietruszko.

The draft renewables bill has been sent to a government committee, and needs to be approved by the whole cabinet before being sent to Poland’s parliament for a final decision.

1 comment:

  1. This was probably one of the biggest steps ahead for poland's solar power sector. I hope they passed this bill already; it's about time europe got another source of solar energy going.