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New possibilities for renewable energy sources

New possibilities for renewable energy sources creates, adopted this week by the Polish Government, the draft of the law on renewable energy sources (“RES Law”).

The draft of the Ministry of Economy, consulted, reviewed and amended several times, was finally, on April 8, 014 adopted by Council of Ministers. The said Law, looked forward by RES market, is the answer of Poland, for EU expectations as for increasing the renewable energy share in the energy market, as set for all EU countries in the Directive 2009/28/EC of The European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2009 on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources and amending and subsequently repealing Directives 2001/77/EC and 2003/30/EC (WE L 140.16 of June 5, 2009). The above directive was already partially implemented to the Polish law by virtue of new Energy Law as amended on July 26, 2013, entered into force on September 11, 2013, so called “ small energy triple package”, but the RES Law is the completion of the above directive in the field of the “green energy” requirements.

The main purpose of the RES Law was to distinguish and organize the support scheme for the renewable energy sources, by its separating of the present Energy Law, and additionally to work out new principles of such support based on the type of the renewable energy source, installed power as well as the starting date of its use or modernization.

The main but not the only solutions proposed in the new Law concentrate on the creation of new system of support for newly constructed renewable energy plants – the auction system, the simplification of the concession procedures as well as
possibilities of the energy production by prosumers (the „producing consumers“) for sale or for their own use.

The mechanisms supporting the production of the energy in the renewable sources installations, existing on the day of RES Law entering into force, would remain unchanged. Simultaneously producer of energy in the renewable energy plant would have the opportunity to make a choice between existing mechanisms of support and the new auction system. The latter, organized each year by the President of the Energy Regulatory Office would start binding from January 1, 2015. The auctions would be organized separately for the energy produced in the plants with the installed power up to 1MW and these with power over 1 MW. The detailed information on the auctions (i.e. the amount and the value of the energy that would be sold through auction as well as the maximum price for 1 MWh produced in the renewable energy source) would be determined in the separate regulations.

The relevant element of the RES Law is the promotion of prosumers energy production which includes the production of energy in the micro installations (up to 40 kW). Such activity would be possible after registration in the registry of producers with no need of concession. The surplus of the produced energy could be sold by prosumer to the energy grid operator for 80% of the energy market price.

The draft of RES Law, certainly still needs to be amended, however its adoption by the Polish Government, allows already commencing the parliamentary works and then (except for isolated provisions) its entering into force within 30 days from publication in the Polish official journal.

Disclaimer: This publication has been prepared for clients and professional associates of Miller Canfield. It is intended to provide only a summary of certain recent legal developments of selected areas of law. For this reason the information contained in this publication should not form the basis of any decision as to a particular course of action; nor should it be relied on as legal advice or regarded as a substitute for detailed advice in individual cases. The services of a competent professional adviser should be obtained in each instance so that the applicability of the relevant legislation or other legal development to the particular facts can be verified.