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New regulation on energy from renewables

The new regulation of the Polish Minister of Economy on electricity and heat generated from renewable sources of energy goes into effect at the beginning of 2013. The new regulation will increase the share of renewables in the production of electricity and heat.

The new regulation provides for an increase in the required share of energy from renewable sources to 12% in 2013 and an annual increase in the following years by 1 percentage point, so that in 2021 the share of electricity generated from renewables will be 20%.

The current system of support for renewable sources of energy is based on the principle of holding an appropriate quantity of certificates of origin (known as “green certificates”) confirming that the energy was derived from renewable sources. Green certificates may be purchased on the market or obtained directly by producing energy from renewables. The price at which green certificates may be purchased constitutes support for enterprises producing energy from renewable sources.

The change in regulations, increasing the required share of renewables in production of electricity and heat, is expected to cause an increase in the market prices of green certificates.

Forestry biomass derived from top-quality wood will be excluded from the system of financial support, as the new regulation prohibits the use of wood with certain specifications.

This exclusion does not apply to cultivation of energy-producing vegetation—plantations established for the purpose of using the biomass from the vegetation for the production of energy (e.g. energy-producing varieties of willow and poplar). The new regulation will thus be more beneficial for enterprises growing energy-producing crops and assure them higher profits from cultivation of such varieties.

The new approach also permits the on-site production of energy from waste or remnants from processing of forestry products without having to meet the required share of “agro” biomass.

The regulation (full title: Regulation of the Minister of Economy on the Specific Scope of Duties to Obtain Certificates of Origin and Present Them for Redemption, Pay Substitution Fees, and Purchase Electricity and Heat Generated from Renewable Sources of Energy, and the Duty to Confirm Data Concerning the Quantity of Electricity Generated from Renewable Sources of Energy) was signed by the Minister of Economy on 18 October 2012 and comes into force on 1 January 2013.

Karol Czuryszkiewicz & Weronika Pelc, Energy Law Practice, Wardyński & Partners