NEW REPORT FROM IEO
Institute for Renewable Energy has published in June seventh edition of PV market report. The report is comprehensive analysis of the stage and trends of polish PV market. Every year the report is made with cooperation with PV companies as a result of detailed market research. This year honorable patronage was given by Ministry of Enterprise and Technology, The National Centre for Research and Development, Polish Investment and Trade Agency and Polish Bank Association. The main partner is Bruk-Bet Solar and the partners are Corab, Columbus Energy i EDP Renewables.
Photovoltaic (PV) sector is one of the fastest growing renewable energy sectors in Poland and in the world. The photovoltaic market in Poland has enormous yet untapped develop potential. The total installed capacity in photovoltaic power sources at the end of 2018 was about 500 MW, and already in May 2019 exceeded 700 MW. The increment of new PV installations is dynamic. It will increase significantly until the end of June, when the time for photovoltaic investments from the second RES auction ends. In 2018, Poland finally began to stand out from the rest of the EU and with an annual increase of 235 MW - it was already ranked 9th. Taking into account current and real investments and trends, in 2019 Poland may be in the fourth place in the EU in terms of annual increases in new PV capacity. The authors of the report estimate that in the entire 2019 will appear even 1 GW of new PV installations, and the cumulative power of photovoltaic installations in Poland at the end of the year could amount to 1.5 GW.
So far, 3 RES auctions have been held (in 2016, 2017 and 2018), in which new PV installations could take part. Totally 990 projects have won with a with a total power of nearly 0.9 GW. The planned capacity of the PV installation in this year's auction will be 750 MW. The report "Photovoltaic Market in Poland 2019" is based on real data obtained from investors and suppliers of PV technology. The surveys confirm the falling construction costs of PV farms of approx. 1 MW. Auction costs for PV farms fell from auction to auctions. The cost of project preparation, construction and connection to the 1 MW farm network fell from PLN 3.8 million in 2016 to as much as PLN 2.8 million in 2018 Taking into account the cost of photovoltaic investments in particular years and the auctions carried out so far and planned capacity in 2019 to be contracted, the effect of the auction system (three already conducted auctions and the auction planned for 2019) may be nearly PLN 5 billion of investments in PV farms, of which over PLN 2 billion in the auction, which is planned for 2019.
By the end of April 2019, 194 installations from the 1st and 2nd RES auctions with a total capacity of 170 MW, which accounted for almost 50% of all PV farms that won the first and second auctions. Projects from the second auction, which have not yet been completed (204 projects) have time until the end of June this year, while projects from the third auction from November 2018 are just being prepared for implementation, and have time until mid-May 2020.
Reference prices for photovoltaic installations with a capacity of up to 1 MW decrease from PLN 465/MWh in 2016 (first auction) to PLN 420/MWh in 2018 (third auction), while according to the regulation of 2019 the reference price in the auction planned for 2019 is to amount to PLN 385/MWh. The average price at which the manufacturer decided to sell electricity in 2018 oscillated between 352-373 PLN/MWh, while the highest average price was obtained by the producers from the second RES auction.
The profitability of investments in the auction support system depends on many factors, while the most affecting the investment economics can be the size of expenditure realisation that will be incurred for the project and the sale price of energy (the price at which the project won the auction). The discounted payback period for such an investment can be about 10 years (with the lowest investment outlays - PLN 2.5 million/MW and with the highest possible reference price from the auction won), which allows you to repay the loan a few years before the end of a differential contract for energy sales and about 10 years before the service life of the equipment.
Forecasts for the sector
The recently published project of the Polish Energy Policy until 2040 (PEP 2040) and the National Plan for Energy and Climate until 2030 (KPEiK 2030) assume an increase in installed power in photovoltaic sources in 2020. The most optimistic scenario for the development of the PV sector assumes a PEP project 2040 - assumes the operation of more than 20.2 GW of total capacity in 2040, (the project KPEiK 2030 assumes the construction of 15.7 GW PV installation in 2040). According to these assumptions (PEP), in 2040, solar will account for approximately 25% of the installed capacity.
Already in 2019, the value of the PV investment market will exceed PLN 3.5 billion, and the total turnover with the value of energy generated in 2019 will exceed PLN 4 billion. The photovoltaic market will become the main area of investment in renewable energy (including heating and biofuels in total), and possibly also in the entire national electricity sector. The prosumers supported by the Regional Operational Program (RPO) subsidies continue to make the largest contribution to the industry's turnover. However, the role of self-producers and PV farms selling energy on a commercial basis is growing. Along with the commercialization of the PV industry, extremely important role in the development of the sector is attributable to investment banks, but also to banks operating in the retail segment (prosumers).
In conclusion, it is likely that the conditions for the implementation of RES investments, including in the PV sector, will improve, and the coming years 2019-2021 seem to be extremely attractive for investors and solution providers on the PV market in Poland.
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 Regulation of the Minister of Energy of May 15, 2019 regarding the reference price for electricity from renewable energy sources in 2019 and the periods of obligatory existing for producers who won the auction in 2019 (Journal of Laws 2019 item 1001).