2023 marks another record year for solar PV in the EU, with 55.9 GW installed across the 27 Member States, showing a 40% growth from 2022 and a doubling of the market in just two years. This is the third year in a row that the EU market breaks its previous record, as well as the third year in a row with annual growth rates of at least 40%.

 

Poland ranked 4th in Europe in terms of the increase in new photovoltaic capacity. The undisputed leader is Germany, which installed 14.1 GW in 2023, followed by: Spain with 8.2 GW, Italy with 4.8 GW, Poland with 4.6 and the Netherlands with 4.1 GW.

 

The SolarPower Europe report is available HERE

We have a pleasure to present this guide on the auction system for renewables as a compendium of knowledge prepared by the Polish Photovoltaics Association and its member – DWF.

The solar energy revolution in Poland is in full swing. In December 2022, RES auctions were held for PV projects, among others. In the basket dedicated to large projects (above 1 MW), photovoltaic installations retained an advantage in terms of installed capacity over wind power plants. This is due to the “10H” distance rule with respect to onshore wind that was still in force at the time. There are simply no new onshore wind projects. Despite the liberalisation of the “10H” distance rule by the legislator, there is bound to be a few years’ investment gap in this sub-sector.

As a result, the expected RES deficit in the Polish electricity system can be filled only by large and small scale PV projects for several years from now. It is also worth mentioning that rising energy prices open the opportunity for new business models, apart from RES auctions. In this context, long-term Corporate Power Purchase Agreements, industrial, self-consumption, hybrid installations and co-located solar and storage constitute a new opportunity for the solar PV sector and provide direct economic benefits to the consumers.

One of the priorities of the actual National Recovery Plan is to use the potential of renewable energy sources for the economy. The objectives established by Poland in it are to increase the share of renewable energy in gross final energy consumption and to reduce the exposure to air pollution from particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10). Further development of photovoltaics fits in perfectly with these intentions.

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After several months of legislative work at the government level, the Sejm passed a spatial planning reform. The key elements of the new regulations for the RES industry include:

• Replacement of studies of conditions and directions of spatial development by general plans by the end of 2025.

• Introduction of a simplified procedure for adopting / amending the local plan for RES (so-called ZIP)

• 5-year period of validity of GM decisions which did not become final before the entry into force of the new regulations

• Obligation to locate new PV installations on the basis of the local spatial development plan, excluding installations up to 1 MW located on land other than agricultural land of class I-IV and forest land. However, until the date of expiry of the study of conditions and directions of spatial development of a commune in a given commune, a change in land use consisting in the construction of a PV installation may also take place on the basis of a decision on land development conditions

• Adoption of a local plan enabling the location of RES will be possible regardless of any provisions of the study, and compliance of the plan with the study in this respect will not be subject to verification.

The bill will soon be sent to the Senate, which is obliged to consider it within 30 days from the date of its receipt. The date of entry into force initially planned by the Ministry of Development and Technology is September 2023.

On March 29, 2023, the General Assembly of the Polish Photovoltaics Association elected a new Management Board for the next four years. PSF was again headed by Ewa Magiera. Krzysztof Tyszkiewicz and Łukasz Witkowski were joined by Irena Gajewska, Szymon Witoszek and Jacek Kosakowski.

Four years of activity was also a great opportunity to meet and celebrate the successes so far. However, we are not resting on our laurels – there are many challenges ahead of us, which we will talk about, among others. during the PV Congress in May in Warsaw. Let’s meet there!

The European Commission wants to reform the structure of the EU electricity market in order to increase the use of renewable energy sources, protect consumers and increase the competitiveness of the industry.

The proposed reform foresees revisions to several pieces of EU legislation – notably the Electricity Regulation, the Electricity Directive, and the REMIT Regulation. It introduces measures that incentivise longer term contracts with non-fossil power production and bring more clean flexible solutions into the system to compete with gas, such as demand response and storage. This will decrease the impact of fossil fuels on the consumer electricity bills, as well as ensure that the lower cost of renewables gets reflected in there.

Under the proposal, rules on sharing renewable energy are also being revamped. Consumers will be able to invest in wind or solar parks and sell excess rooftop solar electricity to neighbours, not just to their supplier. For example, tenants will be able to share surplus rooftop solar power with a neighbour.

The proposed reform will now need to be discussed and agreed by the European Parliament and the Council.

More information HERE

The European Parliament has adopted a draft regulation according to which, from 2028, all new buildings will have to be zero-emission and equipped with solar panels. Measures have been proposed to help lower energy bills and fight climate change.

The main objective of the revision of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption by the building sector by 2030. By 2050, this sector is to become climate-neutral.

From 2028, all new buildings are to be zero-emission, and from 2026, new buildings occupied or operated by or belonging to public authorities are to become zero-emission. From 2028, all new buildings should be equipped with solar energy technologies, if technically and economically feasible. For residential buildings undergoing major renovation, the deadline is 2032.

Parliament adopted its position by 343 votes to 216 (78 abstentions) and will now start negotiations with the Council to agree on the final wording of the rules.

More information HERE

On February 7, 2023, another version of the Draft Act amending the Spatial Planning and Development Act and certain other acts (UD 369, “Draft”) was published after consultations within the Legal Committee.

Despite last year’s declarations by the Ministry of Entrepreneurship and Technology, the draft reinstated some regulations that were very unfavorable for the development of the PV sector.

Firstly, in accordance with the current wording of the Draft (Article 14, point 13 of the Draft), it will no longer be possible to locate PV installations with a capacity of more than 150 kW on class IV land based on the decision on development conditions. Earlier versions of the project allowed for such a possibility for installations with a capacity of up to 1 MW.

Secondly, the time limits for the validity of the zoning decision were restored to 5 years from the date of its entry into force (Article 14, point 58 of the Draft). Decisions on development conditions that become final before the entry into force of the Project will remain unlimited.

The next stage of the legislative process is the adoption of the draft by the Standing Committee and the entire Council of Ministers. PSF will take steps to remove these amendments from the Project, which are unfavorable for the rapid development of the sector.

More information HERE

The European Commission presented a Green Deal Industrial Plan to enhance the competitiveness of Europe’s net-zero industry and support the fast transition to climate neutrality.

The Plan aims to provide a more supportive environment for the scaling up of the EU’s manufacturing capacity for the net-zero technologies and products required to meet Europe’s ambitious climate targets.

“We have a once in a generation opportunity to show the way with speed, ambition and a sense of purpose to secure the EU’s industrial lead in the fast-growing net-zero technology sector. Europe is determined to lead the clean tech revolution. For our companies and people, it means turning skills into quality jobs and innovation into mass production, thanks to a simpler and faster framework. Better access to finance will allow our key clean tech industries to scale up quickly” – said Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission.

More information HERE

On January 23rd, European Commission launched public consultations on reforming the structure of the EU electricity market. The consultation will help the Commission to prepare a legislative proposal (in the form of a draft regulation) scheduled for the first quarter of this year. The consultation will last until February 13th.

The consultation covers four main areas:

• Reducing the dependence of electricity bills on short-term fossil fuel prices in favor of long-term contracts and supporting the development of renewable energy sources

• Improve the functioning of the market to ensure security of supply and make full use of alternatives to gas, such as storage and demand response

• Increasing the protection of the consumer’s position

• Improve market transparency, integrity and oversight

In particular, the planned outcome of the consultations is to receive information on the following issues related to the structure of the market:

a) Methods of supporting PPA on RES:

• Credit guarantees provided by public entities,

• Public tenders for RES, in which contracting of some projects under the PPA is guaranteed

• consider introducing measures to ensure that industrial customers use the full potential of electricity purchase contracts to reduce their exposure to short-term markets and that energy suppliers enter the electricity purchase contract market more actively.

• supporting contract harmonization to aggregate more demand and enable cross-border contracts.

b) Bilateral Contracts for Difference (“two-way-CfDs”), different levels of maturity of this solution are considered:

• As an additional instrument, its use for Member States’ decisions,

• Obligatory for investments under public support

•  + the possibility of using “two-way”-CfDs” for selected already operating projects

• As above, but with the mandatory impression of “two-watt-CfDs” to already existing projects (ex-post price regulation), risk of counterproductive effect, with wrong estimation of prices

c) Futures markets:

• Creation of virtual trading hubs for futures that already exist in some regions.

d) Facilitations for RES

• Guarantee of access to transmission capacity for offshore winds

• removal of barriers hindering the popularization of PPAs with renewable sources or the popularization of bilateral CFD contracts,

• empowering and protecting consumers and increasing supply flexibility and storage capacity.

e) Reducing the revenues of infra-marginal producers, i.e. lower-cost technologies such as renewable energy sources, nuclear energy and coal, which supply electricity to the grid at lower costs than the prices set by more expensive “marginal” (marginal) producers.

More information HERE

The Ministry of Climate and Environment presented the details of the “Energy for the countryside” program, under which farmers and energy cooperatives will be able to apply for subsidies for RES installations. The start of the program is scheduled for January 25, 2023.
Support under “Energy for the countryside” can be paid in the form of a grant or a loan. Applicants for subsidies may apply for a subsidy of a maximum value of PLN 20 million, while in the case of applicants for a loan, the maximum amount is PLN 25 million. Co-financing will come from the Modernization Fund.
Support will be provided to farmers, energy cooperatives and their members. In the case of co-financing for photovoltaic installations or wind turbines, it is possible to apply for a loan of up to 100% of eligible costs, and in the case of biogas plants and hydropower plants, it is also possible to apply for a subsidy of up to 65% of eligible costs.


For more information, visit www.klimat.gov.pl