Poland may reach its target of 7.8 GW of solar by 2030 – as outlined in the National Plan for Energy and Climate – by the middle of the decade, according to a new report by the Instytut Energetyki Odnawialnej (IEO).
The country is expected to see its installed PV capacity rise from 1.5 GW at the end of 2019 to around 2.5 GW by the end of this year. “This year’s investments will be centered around prosumers in the micro-installations sector,” the IEO analysts said. Investments will then shift to bigger projects in the 2021-22 period, in line with the Polish government’s extension of project-implementation deadlines to May 2021, in order to help PV developers to cope with the Covid-19 crisis.
Solar projects above 1 MW in size currently account for around 20% of Poland’s cumulative PV capacity, with a total of 370 MW, while the remaining share is represented by small PV installations and commercial and industrial PV systems. These percentages, however, may change considerably between 2021 and 2022, when around 2.8 GW of newly installed PV power will likely be deployed. By the end of 2023, cumulative capacity is expected to reach 6.6 GW, with large-scale PV and distributed-generation arrays to have roughly the same share of the nation’s total installed capacity.
“Positive forecasts are also confirmed by leading companies from the PV industry that participated in market research,” the IEO said. “Analysis shows that companies are still planning rapid development, despite the temporary difficulties caused by the pandemic.”
The IEO says that the government selected 1,737 PV projects with a combined capacity of 1,765.4 MW in six renewable energy auctions held between March 2016 and September 2019. Of these, four were for projects of up to 1 MW in size, while two were for projects larger than 1 MW. In the second category, solar was able to secure only 62 MW of all assigned capacity, due the strong competitiveness of the Polish wind industry. Of the installed capacity awarded in the six procurement exercises, only about 367.3 MW of projects are currently connected to the grid.
This year, the Polish government plans to award 800 MW in an auction for projects up to 1 MW in size. It also aims to award 1.5 GW of utility-scale renewables capacity, of which 700 MW will be assigned to PV technology.
“It will be the largest auction volume for PV projects below 1 MW and an unprecedented volume available for large-scale PV projects,” IEO stated.
The IEO also said that the reference price for the smaller auction will be PLN 360 ($90.33)/MWh, and PLN 360/MWh for the largest auction.