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Polish PV looks promising

Renewable energy sources have finally got the attention of the Polish government. With the package of energy regulations, including Renewable Energy Law, Energy Act and Gas Act, the country may form one of the most important new markets for solar just in the heart of Europe. PES investigates.

Energy regulations package
Until recently, the Polish government did not pay much attention to the development of Renewable Energy Sources (RES). Renewables accounted only for 3.8 per cent of total energy production in Poland in 2012. And for the time being, the regulations regarding RES are specified in the general Energy Act. The latest developments, however, give the impression that the Polish government is about to fundamentally change that framework. As part of the new energy regulations package that will be enacted during 2013 the regulations on renewable energy sources will be specified in a separate Act: the Renewable Energy Law (RES Law).

Support schemes
When the current draft of the RES Law does come into force, there will be independent schemes for supporting the generation of electricity from RES. As of 2013, the existing quota system for the support of large PV plants will be complemented by a Feed-in-Tariff that will apply to PV systems with a capacity of less than 100 kW. Both support schemes provide specific features that are rather uncommon in comparison to the schemes currently being used in European markets.

The new Polish Renewable Energy Act (Ustawa o odnawialnych źródłach energii) rewards operators of solar systems with high profitability. The use of the simulation software PV*SOL basic facilitates accurate and economical design of the system.

Benefits of the new feed-in law
The cornerstones of the new Ustawa o odnawialnych źródłach energii give photovoltaics a key role in increasingly meeting Poland’s energy needs through the use of renewable energy sources. The goals are quite ambitious.

The Renewable Energy Act presented by the Polish Ministry of Economy stipulates that by 2020 15.5 per cent of the electricity demand in Poland should be covered by renewable energy sources, i.e. electricity from solar, wind, hydro and biomass. And it is photovoltaics which has been assigned a key role.

This is reflected in the particularly attractive financial compensation for solar power. For systems up to 100 kW, this is 1.10 PLN (0.27 euro cents) per kilowatt hour fed into the electricity grid. This compensation is paid from the commissioning of the solar system for a period of 15 years. For larger plants from 100 kW power, there is no fixed feed-in rate. This is calculated based on the market price of electricity, the amount of energy produced from renewable energy and a technology-dependent correction factor. But also here the promotion of solar energy is in the end at the forefront, since the correction factor of x 2.85, which is applied for photovoltaic systems over 100 kW, is in turn the highest of all renewable energy sources.


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