- URE has concluded its latest renewable energy auctions, selecting to award 8.5 TWh clean energy capacity out of 34 TWh targeted
- In the auction for less than 1 MW projects, all bids came in for solar and the agency awarded close to 150 MW
- For projects with more than 1 MW capacity, it selected 336 MW solar PV and 245 MW onshore wind facilities
- URE attributed current geopolitical situation for the lack of interest in these auctions and fears interest to drop further down in the subsequent rounds in favor of long-term PPAs
The Energy Regulatory Authority (URE) of Poland has picked 486 MW solar PV capacity in the latest renewable energy auctions concluded in December 2022, with only 3 successful rounds out of 7 auctions held, blaming it on current geopolitical situation impacts on investment decisions of the energy sector and power purchase agreement (PPA) model.
According to the government agency, the country targeted to procure 34 TWh of renewable energy through auctions conducted in 2022 but only 25% of this target—8.5 TWh—worth almost PLN 2.5 billion has been awarded.
“The instability and high uncertainty of market forecasts of energy prices, noticeable differences in reference prices in individual baskets, as well as the changing legal environment contribute to the decline in the attractiveness of auctions as a RES support system,” said URE President Rafał Gawin.
He also cautioned, “It seems that in the coming years we can expect less interest in RES auctions in favor of long-term PPAs for the sale of electricity.”
In the latest round of auctions concluded in December 2022 for new renewable energy projects, the URE picked 204 winning bids out of which more than 96% or 197 are for solar PV projects, with wind energy settling for 5 and hydropower projects only 2.
Maximum interest was seen in the solar PV and wind auction for not more than 1 MW capacity category as 88 producers submitted 197 bids, all for solar PV. The URE allocated over PLN 3.8 billion to procure 11.25 TWh clean energy in the form of around 150 MW solar PV capacity.
Reference price for solar PV projects in this basket was PLN 375 per MWh, whereas the lowest and highest winning bids were determined as PLN 244.77 per MWh and PLN 327.73 per MWh, respectively. Auction results for this round, dubbed AZ/1/2022 are available on the URE website.
The other category for wind and solar PV projects of over 1 MW capacity dubbed AZ/2/2022, the URE awarded approximately 582 MW capacity to 37 candidates, comprising close to 336 MW solar and 245 MW onshore wind projects. While PLN 3.6 billion was allocated by the government to purchase 11.25 TWh from this auction, the URE was able to pick a little more than 6.4 TWh for PLN 1.7 billion.
For this auction, the reference price for solar power plants was PLN 355 per MWh and the lowest winning bid was discovered as PLN 236.77 per MWh.
On the other hand, for onshore wind facilities, the reference price for over 1 MW project round was PLN 295 per MWh and the minimum price was determined as PLN 150 per MWh. The 3rd successfully concluded auction was for hydropower projects alone and was attended by a single company that submitted 3 offers which is the minimum required number of bids to conclude an auction.
Remaining 4 auctions out of 7 are yet to be resolved due to the lack of required number of bids. Projects selected in these auctions will be eligible for financial support till 2027.
Sweden’s OX2 has announced itself as one of the winners with a total capacity of up to 100 MW solar PV project which it claims will be one of the largest in Central and Eastern Europe, and an energy storage project of 50 MW/100 MWh to be situated in Southern Poland.
The Netherlands registered Photon Energy Group has secured 157 MW demand side response (DSR) solar PV capacity through its subsidiary Lerta JRM, securing PLN 63.8 million in contracted revenues. Lerta targets to grow its DSR portfolio by at least 100 MW a year by 2030 to achieve 500 MW by 2026 and 900 MW by 2030. The subsidiary will participate in the additional Polish auction for at least 300 MW of DSR capacity for 2024 which will take place in March 2023, Photon added.
In the December 2021 auctions, Poland awarded 870 MW solar and 460 MW wind energy capacity (see Poland Awards 870 MW Solar In Dec. Auction).
According to SolarPower Europe’s latest EU Market Outlook for Solar Power, Poland was among the top 3 solar markets in the European Union in 2022 with 4.9 GW annual installations (see European Union To Exit 2022 With Over 41 GW Solar Installed).