In The Wake of the Prosumer Revolution in Poland
The EU Climate and Energy Package has always been a sensitive issue in Poland, whose energy mix is over 80% coal and crude oil (after all, Poland has one of the biggest coal reserves in Europe). While the country might be perceived as a “climate contrarian” among EU member States, such a perception is not completely justified.
Poland does not intend to fight tightening climate policy and defend the status quo at all costs. The Government is fully aware of the inevitable global transition from fossil fuels to renewable sources of power. However, decision-makers want this transition to be gradual so it does not jeopardise Polish energy security and the competitiveness of its economy. Moreover, there are clear signs that better times are coming for renewable energy sources and low emission technologies in Poland.
In January 2016, the new Renewable Energy Act comes into force, which implements the EU Renewable Energy Directive into domestic legislation. The document is the first act of law, that comprehensively regulates Poland’s renewable energy sector. It was finally signed by the Polish President on 11 March 2015 after almost 4 years of work and a number of published drafts. In addition to provisions which apply to large-scale renewable power generation technologies, such as wind, hydro, biomass or ground mounted PV, the act also includes a so called “ prosumer amendment ”, which grants support for renewable power generation in prosumer micro-installations. Owners of the smallest RES installations, up to 10kW, will benefit from fixed feed-in-tariffs. In turn, owners of larger photovoltaic systems from 10kW up to 40kW will be able to resell energy at wholesale prices from the previous quarter. Prosumer provisions also include a net metering solution.
The Polish Ministry of Economy estimates that due to the favorable RES law there might be 37,500 micro-installations mounted in 2016, with a cap of 200,000. RWE’s study “ Technology Scenarios for the Polish Energy Market through 2050 ” shows that in 2050 prosumers may account for up to 25 TWh of electricity production, which is nearly half of the electricity produced by dispersed generation.
According to the data collected by the Energy Regulatory Office , in the first half of 2015 prosumer micro-installations of up to 40 kW produced nearly 10,600 MWh of electricity, which is almost nine times more than in all of 2014. This resulted from a significant increase in the number of mounted micro-installations in the first half of 2015. At the end of June, there were 1,954 of them compared with 875 at the end of 2014 and 41 at the end of 2013.
Although there are not even 2,000 prosumers yet in the Polish energy sector, there is a strong reason to believe that the market will grow in the next few years. Big Polish energy companies co-owned by the State treasury, which were once reluctant towards micro generation no longer deny it and now include photovoltaic products in their commercial offers directed at big companies, SMEs, local governments and, more often, households.
This is article is a part of MSLGROUP’s November 2015 edition of ON Energy Report . If you want to find out more about the work we do, or enquire as to how we might be able to help, don’t hesitate to contact our team member in your market – or contact Nick Bastin at firstname.lastname@example.org.