Polish government approves renewable energy bill

The Polish government approved a bill this week on long-term subsidies for renewable energy projects that aims to help meet European Union climate goals and lower electricity costs for consumers.

If approved by parliament and the country’s president, the law would allow developers and owners of new renewable installations to sell their energy at auctions for a fixed price that would be guaranteed for 15 years regardless of market prices, according to Reuters report.

Renewable power producers that are already in operation would also be able to keep their current subsidies or choose to join the auctions.

The Polish government has been hammering out the new renewables law for nearly two years.

Poland generates some 90 percent of its electricity from coal and has to increase renewable energy to at least 15 percent of the total by 2020 to meet EU rules on carbon emissions, according to Reuters.

Renewable power developers have complained that the country’s murky legal environment has prevented many to make new investments, thus preventing major development in green energy projects.

The country’s previous subsidy program did not provide long-term guarantees. Governments across Europe have been cutting subsidies and the European Commission this week announced new guidelines, which will go into effect in July, calling for market-based initiatives to replace renewable energy subsidies.