Poland's photovoltaic installed capacity continues to grow

Recently, a new report by the Polish Energy and Climate Research Institute (IEO) shows that by 2030, Poland's solar power generation will reach 7.8 GW, reaching its goal set in the "National Energy and Climate Plan."

According to "Photovoltaic Magazine", Poland's installed solar capacity has continued to rise in recent years. Last year, it experienced the first large-scale solar energy market growth, and this year it will grow on a GW scale. Coal has been an important energy source that Poland has depended on for decades, but in the face of increasing pressure to reduce emissions, Poland has begun to encourage investments in solar power and offshore wind power.

According to data from SolarPowerEurope, the European photovoltaic industry association, the new installed capacity of photovoltaics in Poland ranked fifth in Europe with 784 megawatts in 2019, which is only 300 megawatts away from the fourth installed capacity in France. As of the end of 2018, the cumulative installed photovoltaic capacity in Poland was only 486 MW. Bloomberg New Energy Finance even predicted at the beginning of the year that this year, Poland will be among the top ten solar markets in the world by 2020.

According to the IEO report, it is expected that by the end of this year, the cumulative installed capacity of photovoltaics in Poland will increase from 1.5 GW at the end of 2019 to around 2.5 GW. Afterwards, according to the Polish government’s extension of the project execution period to May 2021, investments will be shifted to larger projects during 2021-2022 to help solar developers cope with the new coronary pneumonia epidemic crisis.

It is reported that in early June, the European Investment Bank (EIB) approved a loan of about 18 million euros to Polish solar developers for the construction and operation of 66 small-scale solar power plants in Poland. The average installed capacity of each power plant does not exceed 1 MW, the total installed capacity is about 65.6 MW.

At present, solar projects with a size of more than 1 MW account for about 20% of Poland's cumulative installed photovoltaic capacity, with a total capacity of about 370 MW, and the remaining share mainly includes small-scale photovoltaic installations and industrial and commercial photovoltaic systems. However, between 2021 and 2022, this ratio may change greatly, and then there may be about 2 GW of new photovoltaic installed capacity. It is estimated that by the end of 2023, the cumulative installed capacity of photovoltaics in Poland will reach 6.6 GW, and the share of large-scale photovoltaic and distributed power generation arrays in the total installed capacity will be about the same.

The IEO stated that the Polish government has selected a total of 1737 solar projects in the six renewable energy tenders held from March 2016 to September 2019, with a total installed capacity of 1765.4 MW. Four of these projects are smaller than 1 MW, and the other two are larger than 1 MW. In the tender for projects over 1 MW, due to the strong competitiveness of the Polish wind power industry, only 62 MW of solar projects won the bid.

In addition, this year, the Polish government plans to hold tenders for projects under 1 MW, with a total tender size of approximately 800 MW. In addition, the Polish government also plans to hold a total of 1.5 GW of utility-scale renewable energy tenders, including 700 MW photovoltaic projects.

"Photovoltaic Magazine" pointed out that the strong growth of Poland's installed photovoltaic capacity has benefited from the country's continuous strengthening of rooftop photovoltaic incentives and the promotion of corporate net measurement policies. At the same time, the Polish government also supports industrial and commercial photovoltaic power generation and large-scale power plant projects through the renewable energy bidding and auction system. It is understood that due to the high electricity prices in Poland, the Polish government promulgated new regulations early this year to allow photovoltaic system owners with more than 50 kilowatts to sell excess electricity. Therefore, it is expected that the growth of photovoltaic installations in the industrial and commercial sector will be particularly strong.

On the other hand, due to the increase in the price of carbon dioxide certificates, the impact of the increase in the price of European carbon dioxide emission quotas will seriously affect Poland’s electricity prices, and Poland mainly depends on coal for power generation and heating. The high electricity price pressure is also a huge driving force for the development of clean energy in Poland. .

The IEO predicts that if coal and nuclear power are used, Poland's electricity prices may increase by another 30% by 2030 and 60% by 2050. If renewable energy is used, electricity prices will only increase by 1.5%-2%.


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