The rapid development of RES faces a serious problem due to the limited capacity of the grid. Instead of increasing investment in the network area, the government is now focusing on “manual control” and legislative limiting the growth of specific industries. The fate of onshore wind farms may soon meet photovoltaics.
The government will slow down the development of photovoltaics?
The Ministry of Development and Technology is currently working on a draft act on spatial planning and development. According to the photovoltaic industry, some of its provisions may slow down the development of new installations in the country.
It is about the obligation to locate PV farms with a capacity of over 1 MW (not much) based on the local spatial development plan. The Polish Photovoltaic Association (PSF) would like this limit to apply to farms with a capacity of 20 MW and larger. Moreover, the organization emphasizes that up to the moment of the adoption of local spatial development plans, decisions on development conditions were decisive in this respect. According to the PSF, the new regulations may therefore have an effect similar to the infamous 10H rule, which has slowed down the development of wind energy in Poland for years.
RES breaks records in energy production in Poland. Photovoltaics and onshore wind energy are the future of energy
2022 unlucky for photovoltaics
Already the beginning of the year and changes to the RES Act brought negative changes to the photovoltaic industry. Since April, new regulations have been in force, according to which a prosumer, when introducing energy to the grid, obtains a market price for it, but when charging it, he must pay the amount increased by all fees and taxes. In addition, the surplus sent to the grid can be used during the year, and after this period, he can get an overpayment for it, but with a very limited financial burden.
According to the analysis of the Polish Smog Alert, legislative changes from the beginning of the year caused the return on investment in photovoltaics to be extended by 50-80%, which as a result hit the industry. Proof of this can be, among others a petition for bankruptcy of Stilo Energy or a loss of over PLN 40 million of Columbus Energy, where there is an additional reshuffle in the shareholding structure (January Ciszewski sold his shares).
What is the conclusion?
In July this year. the power of photovoltaics in Poland exceeded 10 GW. The directional document Poland’s Energy Policy until 2040 adopted by the government assumed the achievement of such a share in 20 years. As a result, the number of refusals to connect photovoltaic installations by grid operators is growing. According to the information provided by the Institute for Renewable Energy, only in 2021 projects with a capacity of about 20 GW could go to the “freezer”.
The mismatch between the grid and the rapidly growing renewable energy sources will be a growing problem both in terms of energy security and future energy prices. Legislative slowing down of individual industries by means of “manual control” by the government (formerly wind energy, today photovoltaics) is a short-term and short-sighted solution. It “solves” the problem on an ad hoc basis, but generates even greater perturbations in the longer term. Without the rapidly growing share of renewable energy sources, energy prices in Poland will start to oscillate around levels that are unacceptable to consumers, which we are already witnessing to some extent.