Poland to hold auction for solar and renewables on June 29

Poland’s Ministry of Energy announced that the Polish energy regulator URE will hold the 2017 auction for renewable energy power projects on June 29.

PV, wind and hydropower projects ranging in size from 40 kW to 1 MW will compete in the tender. The ceiling price for PV technology will be PLN 450 ($121.1)/MWh, while that for wind power and hydropower will be of PLN 350/MWh and PLN 480/MWh, respectively. In the auction, the URE intends to award contracts for 4,725 GWh of power. Total budget for the auction is PLN 2.18 billion.

In the 2016 auction, the ceiling price for PV was PLN 465 ($125.1)/MWh. Through the tender held last December, which was the country’s first auction for renewables, a total of 82 renewable energy projects up to 1 MW were selected, the majority for MW-sized PV plants. The highest bid was PLN 408 ($109.8)/MWh and the lowest PLN 253.5 ($68.2)/MWh.

Local PV analyst Piotr Pająk confirmed to pv magazine that PV is expected to have the largest share, as in December’s auction, but he also said that there are some legislative issues related to the auction. “As for the coming auctions,” said Pająk in his statement, “some important legislative issues are still not resolved by government. The major concern is that rules on combining public support granted to investors on CAPEX level (like EU subsidies) with public support on OPEX level in terms of guaranteed price in auction mechanism, haven’t been cleared yet. The effect is that current auction rules may give a handicap to investors who previously received e.g. EU subsidy for their project, and thus they may offer a theoretically lower bid in auction. Moreover, the European Commission looks at the issue as a possible contradiction to EU state aid rule, but the outcome of EC investigation is still unknown.”

At the end of 2016, Poland’s cumulative installed capacity had reached 199 MW. Of this capacity, around 99 MW is represented by installations built under the green certificate scheme and registered by local energy regulator URE, while the remaining 100 MW consists of PV systems installed under net metering.

The Polish government introduced changes to the country’s renewable energy law in July 2016. The new legislation has created an auction mechanism for PV installations with a power of more than 40 kW and a net-metering scheme for PV systems up to 40 kW.

Piotr Pająk represents Polish renewable energy portal Gramwzielone.pl.