European Commission approves extension of Polish auction scheme to support 9GW of renewable capacity

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The scheme will support the deployment of 9GW of renewables, including solar. Image: Lightsource BP.

The European Commission (EC) has approved the extension of Poland’s auction scheme for renewable resources that is predicted to support the creation of 9GW of renewables after it passed EU state aid rules.

The scheme provides aid in the form of a variable premium on top of the market price, calculated as the difference between bidding price and the wholesale electricity price.

Initially approved in 2017, the auction has a budget of €9.4 billion (US$10.64 billion). It was due to expire on 30 June but on 17 December 2020 the EC approved an extension until the end of this year. It has now extended this further until 31 December 2027.

“The Commission found that the aid is necessary to further develop energy generation from renewable sources and to help Poland meet its environmental targets, set at European and national level,” the EC said in a media release.

“This is excellent information for all Renewable Energy Sources (RES) producers as well as for Poland,” said Ireneusz Zyska, deputy minister of Climate and Environment, Government Plenipotentiary for RES. “Auctions are an important tool supporting the development of renewable energy sources in our country.”

Zyska said the EC’s decision “makes it possible to maintain the continuity of the main Polish support system for RES producers” without distorting the EU’s Single Market – a view shared by the EC – and that it is “crucial for ensuring conditions for the safe and predictable development of renewable energy sources in Poland”.

According to the Polish government, the maximum value of state support for the entire duration of the programme could amount to PLN43.85 billion (US$10.7 billion).

The news comes shortly after the EC approved a €2.27 billion (US$2.56 billion) Greek scheme to support 4.2GW of installed renewables capacity after again assessing it in the context of EU state aid rules.

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