Considering the EU targets on CO2 emissions and giving the funds available for green energy projects, renewable energy in Poland is becoming increasingly attractive for domestic and foreign investors. Yet in 2010 an increase of distinctive green energy sectors were observed, which were boosted by a favourable support frame as well as by subsidies offered by various European Union projects and government sources.
In recent years Poland became one of the most attractive wind power markets in Europe. The beneficiary support frames meaning the system of green certificates as well as financial incentives available for investors are one of the most beneficiary for wind farm operators in Europe. The fast development of wind turbines can be observed in the value of the total wind farm capacity installed within last five years. In 2005 it was less than 100 MW and in 2011 it reached 1352 MW.
As a result, wind energy became a main source of clean electricity produced in Poland. According to the Ministry of Economy, Poland’s total installed capacity may reach 6.65 GW by 2020, although the Polish Wind Energy Association (PSEW) offers a more optimistic forecast with the total installed capacity accounting for 13 GW. PSEW estimates that by 2020 the wind energy production may correspond to 17% of overall electricity production in Poland and in 2030 it may reach 29%.
Hydro energy is the second after wind source of energy of total capacity accounting for 946.345 MW. PIGEO estimates that the real economic potential is 18 PJ.
Biomass and biogas
Poland has one of the biggest biomass potential in the EU, from both agriculture and forestry. Currently 100 mn sq meters are in use in order to produce biomass for energetic purposes and the capacity installed accounts for 393.050 MW. The Polish Biomass Chamber states that approximately 10.7 bn square meters of land may be allocated for that purpose. According to the Polish Economic Chamber of Renewable Energy (PIGEO) the real economic potential is estimated to 600 PJ (solid biomass 166 PJ, biogas 123 PJ, wood 24 PJ, energy crops 287 PJ). The EU 2020 targets determine a growing interest in the biomass market, mainly on the part of power plant operators, which must comply with CO2 emission restrictions.
The Polish biogas market is considered to be emerging and with a growing investment interest. The number of the biogas plants in Poland is still relatively low (149) with the total installed capacity of 87.7 MW as of March 2011. The number of new agro-biogas plants is to increase in the coming years. According to EC BREC IOE (Institute for Renewable Energy) data there are 30 advanced projects and 300 in the initial phase of preparation.
Solar energy photovoltaic and solar thermal energy
In terms of investment attractiveness and government’s incentives, photovoltaic solar power markets lose greatly to the wind energy. This fact can be noted in the value of installed capacity. According to the Photovoltaics Association, in 2010 the PV plants in Poland amounted to 1.3 MW. However, the Energy Regulatory Office states that in 2011 only two PV installations function and feed into the grid with total capacity of 0.104 MW. The Energy Policy of Poland forecasts that in 2020 Poland’s installed PV capacity will account for 2MW and by 2030 the number will reach 32 MW covering 0.0622% of total electricity production in Poland.
Although Poland’s photovoltaic market is still in its initial phase of development, it can be observed that the Polish solar thermal market has been developing dynamically. A fast growth is accelerated by the launch of subsidies available for solar installations.
Poland Consulting Services Sp z o.o. is a consulting company from Poland, existing since 2004. It provides the business areas Market Research, Export Consulting, Company Formation and Strategy Consulting and supports companies during their market entrance and market positioning in Poland and in other countries in East Europe.