10 August 2020

Reforms included in the amendment of the RES Act and other acts of 29 July 2020

Source (in Polish): Draft amendment of RES Act and other Acts.

Main reforms:

1. Limiting concession obligations for entrepreneurs who operate small renewable energy installations, by increasing the maximum thresholds of total installed electric power or thermal capacity in cogeneration that small RES installations can produce. Article 2(18) defines the term “small renewable energy installation” as a renewable energy source installation with a total electrical installed capacity of more than 50 kW and not more than 1 MW, connected to a power grid with a rated voltage of less than 110 kV or with a cogenerated heat achievable capacity of more than 150 kW and less than 3 MW, with a total electrical installed capacity of more than 50 kW and not more than 1 MW.

2. Electricity producers who operate small renewable energy installations and who, on the date the amendment enters into force, possess valid concession licenses to commercially produce electricity from renewable energy sources, shall be entered ex officio into the register of producers who operate small renewable energy installations, within 60 days from the Act’s entry into force.

3. Extending, until 30 June 2045, the maximum period regarding:

  • the duration of the ‘exit’ clearing mechanism under the prosumer system; (in Article 40(1b));
  • the obligation for micro RES installations outside the prosumer system to purchase unused electricity; (in Article 41(4));
  • the obligation to purchase unused electricity at a fixed price or the right for settlement of the negative difference under FIT and FIP schemes (in Article 70f(1));
  • the obligation to purchase electricity at a fixed price or the right for settlement of the negative difference under the auction system (in Article 72a(7)).

A pre-condition for extending these deadlines is that the European Commission confirms the compatibility of the state aid contained in these regulations with the EU’s internal market rules or, alternatively, confirms that the changes in the regulations do not constitute new state aid.

4. Poland’s Council of Ministers will determine, in a regulation, the maximum quantities and values of electricity from renewable energy sources that may be sold via auctions in the consecutive calendar years 2022-2026 by the electricity producers specified in Article 72 par. 1. The regulation will also specify  the amount and value of such electricity, including the equivalent amount of electricity resulting from the conversion of agricultural biogas.

5. No provisions are included regarding collective prosumers.

6. Art. 10 section 2a of the Act on Spatial Planning and Development of 27 March 2003 is replaced by the following:

“2a. if the municipality area provides for the delimitation of areas in which devices producing energy from renewable sources with an installed capacity of more than 500 kW will be located, as well as their protective zones related to restrictions on development and land use, the study shall determine their location, excluding:

(A) stand-alone photovoltaic devices with an installed electrical capacity of 1000 kW or less;

(B) non-residential photovoltaic devices.”

This change would remove legal barriers regarding non-stand-alone photovoltaic devices, including the most common roof-mounted devices and also more expensive and technologically advanced Building Integration Photovoltaic (BIPV) equipment.

7. The draft shall enter into force 14 days after its announcement, except for the provisions concerning inter alia the schedule of RES auctions and the implementing regulations issued pursuant to Article 72(2) of the RES Act (Reference Price Regulation), which shall remain in force until 31 December 2021.

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