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Piotr Mrowiec

Attorney at law (Poland), Mediator
Associate Partner
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The European Commission (EC) has approved the changes in the Polish renewable energy regulations. This will have a direct influence on the economic situation of Polish customers and producers of the green energy.

An amendment entered into force on 29 August 2019 to bring a lot of good changes in the Polish renewable energy laws and in some other acts, especially in the Energy Act and in the Wind Energy Investments Act, also known as the Minimum Distance Act. The key changes in the Polish auction system could enter into force only if the EC consented to it. According to the communication from the Minister for Energy on the EC's consent to the changes in the Polish auction system, the following regulations will apply.

Update of the bid

The period in which the auction system was planned to be used has been extended. The auction system was planned to be in place until 31 December 2035. However, the discussed amended act has shifted that date to 30 June 2039. It is important news for investors who have not managed to develop their RES projects yet. Producers whose plants start to be operational in the auction system by 30 June 2024 will be eligible for support for 15 full years, i.e. until 30 June 2039.

Auction system to be longer in place

The period in which the auction system was planned to be used has been extended. The auction system was planned to be in place until 31 December 2035. However, the discussed amended act has shifted that date to 30 June 2039. It is important news for investors who have not managed to develop their RES projects yet. Producers whose plants start to be operational in the auction system by 30 June 2024 will be eligible for support for 15 full years, i.e. until 30 June 2039.

Change of requirements related to devices incorporated in a renewable energy source

The Renewable Energy Sources Act imposes relatively strict requirements on the producers as to the permissible age of the devices used in RES plants. Following the EC’s approval, it has been increased from 18 to 24 months for PV plants, from 30 to 33 months for onshore wind farms, and from 36 to 42 months for other technologies. As regards offshore wind farms, the 72-month period remains unchanged.

Longer deadline for the first sale of electricity after winning a RES auction

The communication from the Ministry of Energy deals also with the change of the deadline for the first sale of electricity after the producer wins a RES auction so that he can remain eligible for auction support. With the EC’s approval the deadline for the first licensed sale of energy can be extended. And so it has been extended from 18 to 24 months for PV plants, from 30 to 33 months for onshore wind farms, and from 36 to 42 months for other technologies. The deadline of 72 months set for offshore wind farms has remained unchanged.

Summing up

With the EC’s approach the Energy Regulatory Office will be able to conduct this year’s RES auction under the new rules, which were added to the RES Act a few months ago. The changes are preferential for investors entering the auction system. The Polish RES auction scheduled for the beginning of December is now one of the largest in the world and the largest in Europe for onshore wind energy. The government wants to purchase electricity worth up to approx. PLN 70 billion from the new and the existing power plants, in the entire supported period. According to Global Data’s list, the auction as announced by the Energy Regulatory Office is currently the second largest in the world. This means that in the near future Poland may become one of the largest construction sites for RES plants in Europe.

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Piotr Mrowiec

Jakub Plebański

23.12.2019