Poland lowers PV support before law comes into force

09. October 2012 | Top News, Applications & Installations, Global PV markets, Industry & Suppliers, Markets & Trends | By:  Becky Beetz

Poland’s Ministry of Economy has published a third draft of its Renewable Energy Sources (RES) Act, which is scheduled to come into play on January 1, 2013. Under the changes introduced, photovoltaics will see reduced remuneration for larger installations. Meanwhile, a cap has been placed on support for systems over 10 MW.

Poland solar photovoltaic installation

No remuneration has been provided for photovoltaic plants above 10 MW.

According to Polish law firm DMS DeBenedetti Majewski Szcześniak, while the draft RES Act has been finalized, a number of changes have been announced in an introductory law, not yet made public. This third draft has been sent to the country’s Council of Ministers, which is expected to review it by this Wednesday.

Under the changes, says DMS DeBenedetti Majewski Szcześniak, the photovoltaic correction coefficients for green certificates (GCs) have been lowered. Furthermore, instead of being presented in the RES Act, they will appear in the law implementing the "three-pack" – the RES Act, the Gas Law and the Energy Law.

Originally, all photovoltaic installations were set to receive a correction coefficient of 2.85 for each GC between 2013 and 2014. This would have installations, regardless of size or location, earn around €0.24/kWh.

However, under the changes, rooftop installations between 100 kW and 1 MW will receive a correction coefficient of 2.85, while other installations between 100 kW and 1 MW will receive 2.75, and all installations between 1 and 10 MW will receive just 2.45. As before, these correction coefficients will degress on an annual basis until 2017, by 5.5%.

Commenting, lawyer Christian Schnell tells pv magazine that while the rates have been lowered, his clients are still satisfied. "21 Eurocent for 1MW to 10MW is still a very good tariff compared to 13.5 Eurocent in Germany," he said.

For installations above 10 MW, the situation is not so clear. "Right now it has to be checked how larger investments consisting of a few 10 MW installations have to be structured – that’s lawyers work," he said, adding that on a positive note, "The new law still allows for merchant trading, although in a limited way. With this combined-floor PPAs and CPAs are still possible, and project finance will increase substantially, as the new law gives stability."

It has been further announced that the feed-in tariff will be officially introduced in a by-law to the RES Act. The rates are expected to be as follows:

  • Rooftop installations up to 10 kW – PLN 1.30/kWh (around €0.32; US$0.41)
  • Other installations up to 10 kW – PLN 1.15/kWh
  • Rooftop 10kW to 100 kW – PLN 1.15/kWh
  • Other installations 10 kW to 100 kW – PLN 1.10/kWh

A number of other changes have been made, including: an obligation by industrial consumers and stock exchange members to purchase GCs; a "softening" of the headroom solution — devised to avoid an oversupply of GCs — whereby the Ministry may increase the percentage obligation to purchase green energy to an appropriate value, but is not obliged to do so; and the inclusion of energy storage facilities in the RES Act if they are connected to the renewable energy installation.

The Polish government is still said to be confident that the three pack will enter into law at the start of next year, although the laws are yet to be tabled in parliament, and filed with the European Commission for notification. A process, Schnell says, which can take up to 6 months.

Industry is also skeptical that the RES Act will be introduced in January. Indeed, CEO of Polish company Easy Solar, Marcin Dolata believes the law may only come into force at the end of 2013. 

For more detailed information on the Polish photovoltaics market, see the October edition of pv magazine. Solarpraxis AG will also be holding a workshop (in German) on November 6 in Berlin, "Photovoltaik in Polen". Find more information here.

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