Country: Poland

Please find below latest updates as regards national policy and legal-administrative changes. For more information on these measures you may contact the national association, contact details are available here

September 2013 - Amendments to the Energy Law

The amendment to the Energy Law on 11 Sept. 2013 introduced many significant changes for the installations up to 40 kW (called micro-installations). It is no longer necessary for the physical persons to obtain a concession for production and sale of energy, therefore there is no need to establish a company and pay social security charges. Systems up to 40 kW do not require a building permit and installations with a height of less than 3 meters does not require the building notification. Connection of micro-installations to the grid is done on a notification and there is no charge for connecting. Individuals can sell the produced energy at a price of 80% of the average selling price of electricity on the competitive market (181,55 PLN/MWh).

If the owner of such system is a legal entity, the concession is required. The legal entity apart of a price equal to the average wholesale price of electricity on the competitive market market (181,55 PLN/MWh) may obtain green certificates, which are tradable on the Polish Power Exchange (POLPX). Installations of systems with PV power above 40 kW, always require that in the local development plan or in the building conditions the source of renewable electricity, e.g. photovoltaic system must be explicitly named. After this changes Polish prosumer-market starts to develop, but very slowly, because of weak support scheme. The producer is entitled to the certificate of origin for the period of maximum of 15 years (no longer, then until December 31st 2035), counting from the first day of production of the energy for which the certificate of origin was issued.

Project of the new Law from 04 April 2014 called “RES Law” introduces significant changes in installations producing electricity from RES. This Law will go to the Parliament in April 2014. A pivotal point incorporated in the support schemes are auctions. Differently from what was expected, RES will no longer be based on green certificates, as it has been since 2005. Installations will be divided into three categories depending on the installed capacity: lower than 40 kW, from 40 kW to 200 kW, and above 200 kW. The auctions would be as in traditional ones, the lowest bidding price should win and that would be the price at which energy would be sold during the next 15 years, should this mechanism initially target new or modernized installers. Support system based on green certificates for existing producers will be guaranteed for 15 years from the date of produced the first electric energy, for which a certificate of origin was entitled.. New law will simplify procedure for obtaining a concession for produce and sell energy from RES. 

July 2013 - Amendments to the Energy Law/ "Small Three-Pack"

Independently of the work on the Big Three-Pack, in October 2012 the Parliament set up a sub-committee that began working on amendments to the existing Energy Law to adjust Polish legislation to EU requirements, the so-called "Small Three-Pack". The justification was the necessity to implement Directive 2009/72/EC as soon as possible to avoid the fines that the Court of Justice of the European Union could impose on Poland for delaying implementation of EU energy directives. Finally the Little Three-Pack was adopted by the Polish Parliament at the end of July 2013 and is waiting for the signature of the Polish President.

Positive impact:

  • The New Law annuls the concession requirement for small and micro installations (with the total installed capacity of less than 40 kW) instead of which it introduces a registration requirement for small installations in the registry of small installations and the requirement of notifying the grid operator of a micro installation.
  • The purchase of electrical energy from such systems will be mandatory.
  • Up until now selling of energy was possible only by legal entities, which required establishing  a company and paying social securities, those were higher than the revenues from the sold electricity. The New Law annuls those obligations.
  • Other provisions include the conditions and manner of accrediting training courses and certificates for micro-installation fitters.

Negative impact:

  • The limit of less than 40 kW installed capacity to qualify as a small- or microinstalation seems too low.
  • The Law gives the price paid for energy from the microinstallation as 80% of the average selling price on the competitive market for a given year, as announced by the President of the Energy Regulatory Office. It means around 160 PLN/MWh without the green certificate what is not encouraging for investors.
  • The commencement of the work on the Little Three-Pack gave rise to the concern on the RES market that its rapid enactment would slow down, if not entirely suspend, work on the Large Three-Pack.
  • Unfortunately, the Ministry of Economy can’t take decision on the strategic goals especially on the mechanism of support. Such situation causes suspension of most projects until the terms on which they can be developed are clarified. Only a predictable, stable and transparent RES support system will encourage developers and financiers to invest in the development of RES.

2013 - Green Certificates status

The system of support is based on green certificates. Due to the complications and costs that have to be overcame and incurred, the owners of small PV systems (several kW) are practically excluded. Furthermore it is necessary to obtain a license to generate and sell electric power. The license can be obtained only by the legal entities not physical person so an energy producer has to register his activity and pay social securities. These are higher than the revenues from the sold electricity.

In the present legal regulations small systems are treated in an almost the same way as big PV plants. There are also many obstacles that one encounters when trying to connect the system to the grid, to install it on buildings and to obtain financing.

The other serious problem is drop in the prices of green certificates on the Polish Power Exchange over the last year. In February 2013, the value of green certificates went down below 100 PLN/MWh when previously the value was stable on the level of 260 PLN/MWh. The low prices of certificates are a consequence of over-supply on the market and the lack of new legal regulations on RES.

The RE sector is looking forward to Act on Renewable Energy Sources which first draft was published in December 2011 together with the drafts of new Energy Law and the Gas Law and therefore is called the "Big Three-Pack". These drafts caused a lot of controversy in the energy sector, particularly the part concerning the regulations of RES. In 2012 there were many changes and the most recent version comes from October 2012. New project of the Act on RE introduces substantial changes regarding administrative requirements also mechanism of support will be changed. PV systems up to 100 kW may be supported with Feed-in-Tariffs, while bigger with a significantly modified green certificates scheme.