Polish 2.5 GW solar and wind auction on December 5

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Poland’s Energy Regulatory Office will hold two solar and wind energy capacity auctions early next month, according to the Polish Institute for Renewable Energy (IEO).

The procurement exercise for projects with a generation capacity of more than 1 MW will be held on December 5, with the tender for smaller installations on December 10.

The first exercise is expected to allocate around 2.5 GW of renewables capacity and should offer brighter prospects for solar developers after PV secured only 1 MW of capacity in last year’s tender. The IEO said only projects holding grid and construction approval permits are eligible for the procurement and claimed only 2.5 GW of the 7.46 GW of wind projects with grid-connection approval had also secured construction permits.

Some of the permitted wind power projects face possible difficulty raising finance, according to the IEO, which contrasted that industry with solar, which it says is on the rise in Poland with 1.4 GW of generation capacity receiving grid approval and 650 MW of projects holding building permits.

Opportunities

“Perhaps, therefore, such a large contracted capacity for this auction will open up opportunities for large solar projects and give them a chance to compete with wind projects,” stated IEO analysts.

The only solar parks under development in Poland are being planned as unsubsidized projects. They include solar facilities proposed by state-owned utility Polska Grupa Energetyczna, a project under development by power company and coal miner Tauron Polska Energia SA and a large scale PV plant at a depleted area of the extensive Adamów brown coal mine in Turek county, among others.

Under the Energy Policy of Poland until 2040 policy, the government wants to reach 20 GW of solar capacity by that point. Wind – currently the most developed Polish renewable industry – is only projected to hit 10 GW.

Poland passed 1 GW of solar energy capacity deployment by the end of September, most of it assigned in the auctions for projects no larger than 1 MW that were held between 2016 and 2018.