Poland is probably one of the last EU countries just starting to explore PV. The hours of sunshine are very similar to Germany and with its size of 312,679 km2, and population of 38,000,000 people, the country’s potential is huge.
The PV business up until now was almost not existing. The country is quite rural, and burning coal was always the main source of energy. But – the government is aware of the necessity to include RES into the country energy mix, and the population is very environmental minded. Some wind farms have been already built in the country, and PV is expected to follow next.
Support programme for small pv systems
In May 2014 – Polish National organization – Narodowy Fundusz Ochrony Środowiska i Gospodarki Wodnej (NFOŚiGW), which is supported by the government, signed into an effect so called PROSUMENT program. It means, that from 2014-2020, the construction of small PV installations — that will be PROducing their own energy, and at the same time conSUMING their own energy – will be supported. This Solar PV program should be the direct successor of the similar support program, that was run for Solar Thermal industry before.
The aim of this PROSUMENT program is to be financing renewable domestic installations, to increase the energy self-consumption of the households, and the local municipalities energy independence. The NFOSiGW allocated 100 million zł (approx. 25 million €) for the first pilot phase of the Prosument program – that will be available only for the municipalities. Later on, another 100 million zł will be allocated through banks that will give a low rate loan to the applicants (1% only!), and another 100 million zł will be allocated and distributed through local provincial offices of NFOSiGW. Depending on the developing situation, the second part of the Prosument program with another 300million zł (approx. 73 mil €) could be implemented. In total – 600 mln zł (approx. 145 millon €) is expected to be invested in this program within the next 4 years during those two phases. And if it is really successful, there is a possibility of extending the program into the 3rd and 4th stage.
To give a practical example: NFOSiGW will give a subsidy of 40% for every installation up to 40kWp, with maximum price of ~2050 euro for 1kWp, and additionally the price of ~1200 euro for every 1kWh battery storage. So it means that for example for an installation of 5kWp, with a battery system of 2kWh (installation with SB3600TL SE) – the refund will be 40% out of 5 x 2050 + 2 x 1200 = 40% out of 12650 euro (= 5060€), which is not a bad start. The electricity price in Poland is low (~15-16 eurocent), but it is expected to grow extremely high during next years (because of many factors like for example – new conventional coal block in Poland, new RES act that will be implemented this or next year, nuclear power plant that is in government plan, etc.).
Renewables are now becoming a stable and visible item in the country’s energy mix. Polish government is working on RES Act in more detail. The talk is, that there will be no feed in tariff (FiT), but an auction system, more less similar as it is working in Russia now, Brazil and some other country.
SMA is already making a footprint in Poland, not only on a media, PR and a Brand Awareness side, but also with some real extraordinary installations. For example – the Church in Jaworzno called “Shrine of Our Lady of Perpetual Help”. It was built three years ago already, as the first PV installation on a Church ever done in Poland! The installation was partially sponsored by the EU funds, and the story says that the Faithful people have made a fund raising collection among themselves to get money to finance the rest – to help the environment and the energy independence of the Church.
The size of the roof system is 71 760 Wp, there are 3 pcs SMA SB 3100TL, and 6 pcs SMA SMC 10 000TL-10 RP + Sunny WebBox, with 312 CP-Solar panels 230Wp polycrystalline. The installation is connected to the OSD Tauron Distribution, and launched in April 2011.
Poland is still at its beginning, it is all in a process, and hopefully some more laws and regulations will be signed soon to enable a long term, sustainable and professional development of the PV industry. The SMA CEE team is very enthusiastic about Polish PV market, keen to utilize their knowledge from the other regions as well!
Sarka Vlasakova (guest author)
Sarka is the Marketing Director of SMA Central & Eastern Europe. She used to be a professional tennis player, now enjoying also other sports, love travelling, gardening and spending time with the family.