New act on energy efficiency
On 31 December new act came into force prolonging the functioning of the present system of support for energy efficiency in the form of the so called white certificates until the end of this year, with an obligation of dismissing the certificates by the end of March of 2017. Non-dismissed certificates until this date may expire. The prosthesis accepted in haste by the government is an effect of delays in accepting in its entirety of the new act on energy efficiency by the previous government which-according to the assumptions of the former Minister of Economy-was supposed to be based on the auction system (preferred by the European Commission).
Prolonging the act of 2011 by only one year signifies that the government has an objective to finalize the legislative procedure of the new system of cogeneration support. The matter is quite significant since current system is weakly functioning (enterprises spend hundreds of millions of zloty for substitute fees as there is a constant lack of certificates available on the market), furthermore, the European Commission presses Poland to fully transpose this directive.
photo NFOŚiGW, source: www.elektroonline.pl
Amendment to the act on RES
Also, at the year end a small amendment of the Act on RES entered into force the target of which was to postpone the launch of new, auction system of support for renewable energy sources by half a year. The Act delayed entering into force of the new system of support of micro-installation in the form of guaranteed tariffs.
As a result of the senate amendment it was however decided that as of 1 January electricity produced in the existing hydro power plants of capacity above 5 MW will no longer be supported with green certificates , whilst co-incineration (so called simple incineration) half less certificates will be granted than so far.
The minister of energy, Krzysztof Tchórzewski, declared that in the first half of the year a larger amendment ought to be made to the act on RES which will, among others, remove all the interpretation-related ambiguities which will increase the fee for RES from 2.51 t 3.35 PLN/MWh and place larger pressure on, among others, agricultural biogas plants. We obtained information that the concept of the so called technological baskets is being re-considered where the same technologies would compete against one another for support and the division of support between them would not be in the hand of the Minister of Energy but rather of the government. Poland would be able to explain to the European Commission the division due to easier balancing of the system ( as long as the biogas plants were attracted to conduct such energy production), however, this would mean larger costs of the support system itself for which there might not be enough determination.
Four governments have worked since 2010 on the regulations concerning smart meters. The last project, from autumn of 2014 was efficiently blocked at the level of permanent committee of the government. A significant opponent of establishing new regulations at the present level f development of Polish energy sector is the Chairman of the Energy Regulatory Office, while the greatest supporter of this was the Ministry of Economy and-in our assessment- the Ministry of Energy will remain one.
The resort of energy managed to re-enter the project of the meter act into the list of government works with the planned date of launch in the 2nd quarter of 2016.
The act is supposed to regulate, among others, the method of gathering and processing data from smart meters and place an obligation on the distributors of their installation among 80% of respondents. The project envisages also launching of the Operator of Measurement Information the functions of whom will be performed by the daughter company PSE-Manager of Settlements.
The new act would differ however from its draft from 2014 by the schedule of assembling the smart meters, since the indicated exchange of 80% of devices by 2020 is very unlikely at this stage. Most likely the government will propose the year 2024 as a deadline.
The “gas” amendment of Energy Law
By mid-year period the government wishes to direct the amendment of Energy Law to the Sejm the purpose of which will be a gradual exit from the obligation of presenting tariffs for the sale of gas to URE Chairman. The prices of gas for the last group of smallest recipients in households would be released in 2023. The project is a reply to the ongoing proceeding before the Court of Justice of the EU against Poland for the lack of progress in liberalization of gas market.