Poland: offshore wind and PV may lose bigger support

The Renewable Energy Law (REL), scheduled to enter into force in January 2014, may never be passed. Although the Polish government officially has not abandoned the project, there has been a growing number of unofficial reports that the draft will never reach the Parliament.

According to renewable energy officials involved in the negotiations with government on REL, Prime Minister Donald Tusk is convinced that the new law will be too costly for electricity consumers, hence he decided to abandon the project. "The only thing that could make Polish government proceed with the draft is European Commission's disapproval", one of the experts told S&WE on condition of anonymity. Polish government faces EUR 4 million penalties each month for not implementing EC Renewable Energy Directive. REL law was aimed to fulfill this commitment, but Tusk plans to convince EC that a so called "small draft", being proceeded in Parliament at the moment, will be enough.

The problem lies in the fact that the "small draft" preserves current support scheme which has led to the development of onshore wind and biomass co-firing with coal leaving other technologies out of the market. This phenomenon was caused by the mechanism of supporting all the technologies with one green certificate (GC) per MWh, currently traded at EUR 37. REL was to increase number of GCs for more capital-intensive technologies. Photovoltaics would receive 2.8 GC, offshore wind 1.8 GC and purely biomass plants 1.2 GC. The draft law provided also feed-in-tariffs for small electricity sources and tax deductions for renewable heat. The REL draft has caused great interest among investors in PV and offshore projects in Poland. Being the law never passed however may lead to freezing the projects as not profitable with 75 EUR/MWh combined income from electricity and GC.

Marcin Czekanski

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