Poland’s power auctions in 2019 will go to planned wind farm projects

Most of the $4.4 billion support provided by Poland’s power auctions in 2019 will go to planned wind farm projects, which would translate into 2.2 gigawatt of new wind power capacity in the coal-reliant state, the energy market regulator (URE) said on Thursday.

Poland, which generates most of its electricity from coal, has struggled to meet an EU target of 15% of energy from renewables in gross final energy consumption by 2020. It has hoped the green energy auctions will help.

In this year’s auctions, held by URE, producers of reneable energy competed for subsidies granted for over 15 years by offering the lowest electricity price for the period.

As a result they will receive a total of almost 17 billion zlotys ($4.43 billion) for 79 TWh of electricity, generated mostly in planned wind farms, URE said.

The biggest auction was held on Dec. 5, when 101 offers won 16.1 billion zlotys support for new wind farms and over 129 million zlotys for solar energy.

The lowest offer in that auction amounted at around 163 zlotys/MWh and the highest was at 233 zlotys.

Commenting on the auctions’ results, the Polish Wind Energy Association (PWEA) said that it showed that onshore wind power continues to be cheaper than other power generation technologies.

“For another year the average price from the submitted offers was lower than the wholesale price at 220 zlotys/MWh. This shows that more megawatts installed in wind farms are an effective tool of lowering the energy transformation costs,” said Janusz Gajowiecki, head of the PWEA.

The wind industry in general has seen a steep decline in prices and increased competition as governments move away from guaranteeing generous fixed, subsidised tariffs for power towards a competitive auction-based system.

Poland had a capacity of 8.8 GW installed in renewables as of the end of June 2019, the energy market regulator data shows. Still, most of the country’s total capacity of 45 GW comes from coal-fuelled power stations.