Poland allocates 494 MW of solar in 2023 auctions


Poland’s Energy Regulatory Office (ERO) said yesterday it had allocated 494 MW of solar its latest renewable energy auctions.

The regulator awarded 6 TWh of 88 TWh tendered with the auctions largely unsubscribed. PV accounted for 98% of selected projects.

The ERO assigned 123 MW of PV capacity for renewable energy projects not exceeding 1 MW. The auction for this category had a ceiling price of PLN414 ($103.4/MWh), with the lowest bid coming in at PLN 284.95/MWh and the highest being PLN 355/MWh.

The ERO assigned 471 MW of solar for projects over 1 MW. The lowest bid was PLN272.91/MWh and the highest was PLN 389/MWh.

Hydroelectric power plants, farm biogas plants, biomass and non-farm biogas installations recorded “insufficient” project offers, the ERO said.

President of the URE Rafał Gawin said this year’s auction did not attract interest from generators.

“Only 6.8% of the electricity offered for sale was contracted, and the entrepreneurs investing in photovoltaic installations were virtually the only beneficiaries that stayed in the game,” he said.

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Gawin said the results show long-term corporate power purchase agreements (PPAs) are becoming an attractive alternative to the auction-based support system.

“Indeed, the auctions attracted little interest, even though the supply of photovoltaic projects is still relatively high,” Piotr Pająk, a PV analyst for Gramwzielone.pl, told pv magazine. “Similar, poor effects of the auction were recorded last year. The main reason is that investors are moving away from the auction system due to the relatively low sales prices of energy that they can secure.”

In this year's auctions, ceiling prices for photovoltaics were increased, but they were still too low to encourage a larger group of investors to submit offers. “In this situation, investors are looking for opportunities to secure revenues in market PPA contracts,” Pająk stated. “And the demand for such contracts from customers in Poland is growing. Local customers, but also corporations such as Amazon, Google and McDonalds, are looking for opportunities to purchase renewable energy under PPA contracts on the Polish market.”

The Energy Regulatory Office said it has contracted more than 274 TWh of electricity worth almost PLN 67 billion resulting from 2016 to 2023 auctions.

Poland recorded 12.4 GW of installed PV capacity at the end of 2022, according to data from the Polish research institute Instytut Energetyki Odnawialnej (IEO). The institute estimates the country's installed solar capacity could more than double to 26,791 MW by the end of 2025, with 5,981 MW of solar projects added to the grid this year.

SolarPower Europe said there were 4.9 GW of new solar additions in 2022, making Poland the third-best solar market in the European Union.

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