Poland continues to struggle with its renewable energy law

Subsidies for such renewables as solar, wind and biomass could be lowered before the draft law even comes into play. Following an economic downturn, which has seen Poland’s budget deficit increase, the Economy Ministry is considering adjusting the funding levels.

"We don’t plan a retreat from support, but we see that progress in technology allows us to reduce rates proposed earlier," Pietrewicz told Bloomberg last week. Speaking to pv magazine, Christian Schnell a partner at the Warsaw-based law firm DMS, said that based on the National Action Plan, a funding ceiling for certain technologies will most probably be implemented.

He said that there would be four technology "pots" –biomass, wind, biogas and others – with photovoltaics likely to be sorted under "others." Furthermore, provided that the prescribed quotas for individual subsidy funds are not met, co-firing from biomass in coal-fired power plants could again be consulted to cover the country’s share of renewables. These would be applicable until 2020, as opposed to 2017, as previously planned.

The amendments proposed by the Department of Economy refer to systems over 100 kW in size, which will be supported via the trading of green certificates. Via a correction factor, the amount of certificates issued will depend on the technology.

Contrary to the previous plans, Schnell says the government now wants to specify the correction factor for just two years in advance, as opposed to five. He calculates that the rate won’t really be fixed until the end of the legislative process.

Poland must do more to promote renewable energy, however. "The renewable energy law must be introduced to Parliament before the summer break, so that it can enter into force before the European Court of Justice decides on the penalties for the non-implementation of Directive 28/2009," stated Schnell.

Poland is threatened with a fine worth €133,000 a day, if the judge confirms the demands of the European Union. Regarding state support for renewable energy, Poland’s government is hoping to go from 10.8 billion, to 5.5 billion Zloty in the coming year. Converted, this corresponds to a halving in funding of around €1.3 billion.

Translated by Becky Beetz.