Poland’s PV capacity reaches 281 MW

Poland reached a cumulative installed solar PV capacity of 281.4 MW as of the end of December 2017, according to a new report, “Rynek fotowoltaiki w Polsce 2017”, published by Polish solar energy association, Polskie Towarzystwo Fotowoltaiki (PV Poland).

New additions for last year totaled around 81 MW, slightly up from the roughly 101 MW of newly installed PV capacity in 2016.

Of the cumulative capacity, around 107 MW comprises installations built under the green certificate scheme and registered by local energy regulator, URE; while the remaining 174 MW consists of PV systems installed under net metering.

The Lublin Province is home to the largest share of PV installations, with around 30 MW of capacity, followed by the Podlasie Province (12.6 MW), the Lesser Poland Province (9.3 MW), and the Silesia Province (8.0 MW), all of which are located in the southern areas of Poland.

PV Poland said that, while the country’s PV market is currently underdeveloped, up to 1 GW of solar may come online by 2020. This will be made possible by a series of auctions the Polish government is currently implementing. A recently introduced system of discounts, however, has made these auctions less attractive for investors, according to the association.

The Polish government is providing incentives to solar through net metering (up to 40 kW) and an auction mechanism for large-scale projects (over 40 kW). Under the net metering scheme, operators of PV power plants not exceeding 10 kW in size are refunded 80% for each kilowatt they inject into the electricity system, while owners of PV systems between 10 kW and 40 KW are refunded 70%.

As for the auction mechanism, Polish authorities are planning to tender around 750 MW of solar capacity in the auctions for PV projects up to 1 MW this year. Furthermore, the government is considering holding a mixed wind-solar auction for this year, in which solar power projects over 1 MW may also have good chances of success.

Last year, the planned auction including PV over 1 MW was canceled by the Polish government, because changes relating to EU state aid rules to the country’s Renewable Energy Act, were not introduced on time.