A Citizens’ Clean Energy Revolution Has Begun In Poland

A Citizens’ Clean Energy Revolution Has Begun In Poland

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Last month, Poland president Bronisław Komorowski signed into law the Renewable Energy Act, which promises support for renewable energy “microinstallations.” Owners of small-scale renewable energy systems will be reimbursed for feeding in as much as 10kW into the grid.

“The implementation of the new Renewable Energy Act will allow for developing about 200 000 small scale renewable domestic installations in Poland until 2020.” says Tobiasz Adamczewski of WWF Poland. “This means that around one million Poles will profit from the Act as they will be able to produce electricity from renewables. Banks should soon prepare special conditions for financing these installations for those who are interested.”

The ruling Civic Platform party opposed the feed-in tariffs for renewable energy, but in the end was outvoted. The amendment to the original text was passed in the Polish Parliament in February.

“Politicians were persuaded to support the idea of giving regular citizens the ability to produce their own power on an economically sound basis, thanks to the engagement of thousands of people” said Anna Ogniewska, A renewable energy expert with Greenpeace. “We are happy that the members of parliament, above any party divisions, took the side of Polish citizens and made it possible for at least 200 thousand families across Poland to invest in domestic power generation.”

Currently, Poland’s energy mix primarily consists of coal and crude oil, which makes up 80% of the nation’s energy demand. Poland has among the largest coal reserves in Europe that are heavily mined, as the nation’s four largest energy companies, all co-owned by the government, vie for a monopoly on energy production. This act is a huge step forward in a nation where coal is king.

Not only is this better for the environment and sustainability overall, but this law also seeks to stimulate new technology development and build a more resilient energy grid. Large majorities in Poland support the move.

At present, the Ministry of Economy, which was vocal about its opposition to the feed-in tariffs from the start, is making a case that the proposed .75 PLN/kWh for PV installations up to 3kW is too high. High ranking government officials claim that the European Commission will likely question the validity of the scheme due to “over-subsidization.”

Image credit: CoCreatr, Flickr

 

 

 

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