According to information contained in the latest Database of Photovoltaic Projects in Poland, more than 10 GW of PV projects are currently under development in the market. However, almost half of the projects have building permits - just under 5 GW in total. The database includes projects of various capacities - both those with a capacity of about 1 MW and larger farms. In the context of the upcoming RES auctions, which will take place in the first days of June, this information is important for all those interested in participating in this support system. For large projects (above 1 MW), a volume of 800 MW has been allocated in the RES 2021 auction and for small projects (below 1 MW) a volume of 1000 MW has been reserved.
The dynamics of the connection conditions issued has significantly accelerated in recent quarters. Throughout 2019, connection conditions were issued for projects with a total capacity of 1.7 GW and in 2020, almost 5 GW were already issued. However, in the first quarter of 2021 alone, the four largest distribution system operators issued connection conditions for 2.8 GW of projects - this is more than the total number of connection conditions issued over 10 years (between 2010 and 2019)!
Building permits are issued at a dynamic depending on the date of the RES auction. This is particularly the case for projects with a capacity of about 1 MW. For this type of projects, the highest number of building permits is issued a month or two before the auction. However, already now, one month before the planned RES auction, it can be concluded that the "small basket" will be filled and the competition will be high again. This is due to the fact that in the December 2020 auction the oversupply of projects was doubled and further new building permits have already been issued.
In the database Photovoltaic Projects in Poland, half of the projects are those with a capacity of about 1 MW. This is due to the fact that RES auctions developed mainly these small projects. Volumes for the "small basket" were significant and investors took up all available capacity. In contrast, the "large basket" was dominated by wind projects and photovoltaics could not compete with them. It was only in the December 2020 auction in the "large basket", intended for wind and PV projects above 1 MW, that PV managed to occupy about half of the allocated volume. Currently, both small and large farms are being developed in the market - in terms of capacity, large projects account for half of the market. Most large projects are developed as farms with a capacity of over 50 MW.
More detailed information on the photovoltaic project market in Poland in the latest IEO database:
Institute for Renewable Energy (IEO) was established in 2001. It’s an independent research group, and the first private research institute in Poland with a deep knowledge of the renewable energy issues: wind energy, solar energy, biogas, biomass, energy planning, ranging from politics energy and law, economic and financial analysis, and ending with the technical issues and design.
IEO also has an extensive experience in participating as an advisor (due-diligence, assumptions and concepts of technical solutions, functionality and utility programs, feasibility studies, business plans, terms of reference for a tender, supervision and construction monitoring) in the investment processes in the area of renewable energy implemented by the company and local governments.
IEO since 2009, conducts postgraduate studies "Investments in renewable energy sources", trainings and conferences in the field of technology, market economics and the law of renewable energy sources for national energy companies (eg. PGE, PKP Power Engineering), municipalities, financial companies (Alior Bank BGZ, ZBP) and foreign institutions (chambers of commerce in Germany and France, energy companies).
In addition, as part of its work, the IEO completed a number of expert opinions commissioned by the Ministry of Economy, Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Regional Development and other governmental and commercial projects for business customers.
Institute for Renewable Energy acting since 2001 on the polish and european renewable energy market, specializes in preparing economic analyzes, market reports, market monitoring and legislative actions in the field of PV- photovoltaic energy, solar collectors, heat pumps, wind energy, biomass energy, biogas plants in the following areas;
- Studies and detailed analyzes of the market state of RES development in Poland and in Europe.
- Technical and economic due diligence of RES projects: solar, biogas and wind in the auction system
- Projects before auctions system have complete construction documentations, with valid building permits and grid connection conditions.
- Winners projects of the RES auctions system are ready to build with a guaranteed price of energy for 15 years.
- Realization on behalf of investors pre-investment and investment processes in various stages;
- Preparation of feasibility studies for the installation of renewable energy sources - for companies and local governments;
- Verification of feasibility studies and functional programs;
- Hosting, developing, updating and analyzing database RES investment, including investments in photovoltaic systems.
- Hosting, developing and updating a database of manufacturers and distributors of photovoltaic equipment and conducting comparative analyzes (technological benchmark);
- Advice and assistance in the preparation of investment:
- Preparation of feasibility studies of the investment projects;
- Consulting in negotiations with financing institutions;
- Reports - assessment of the impact of photovoltaic systems on the environment;
- The development of computer programs and spreadsheets, profit calculation and energy analysis of the economic viability of investments, tailored to the individual needs of customers - installers and manufacturers of renewable energy systems;
- Preparing investors for the applying for financial aid, the use of support systems (eg. green certificates) and effective participation in the auction for the supply of electricity from renewable energy sources in the years 2016-2030;
- Forecasts productivity and optimization of wind power and photovoltaic in the context of ensuring the minimum requirement of guaranteed efficiency of the plant during the 3 years and 15 years periods of time in the law on renewable energy sources;
- Organizing and conducting webinars on key determinants of RES;
- Organization and carrying out postgraduate studies "Investing in renewable energy: distributed generation and prosumers";
- Organization of national conferences;
- Formulating a development strategy for the RES sector and coordination of the campaign for implementation of the sector demands;
- Implementation of expertise for the government and public institutions (the full list of expert opinions is available here).
The photovoltaic boom in Poland continues
IEO has successfully realised ninth edition of annual report PV Market Report in Poland 2021. Whole report is available in our online shop in English. Check out
The photovoltaic market in Poland is going through a development boom. In the last five years, at the end of 2020, Poland was in the first place in the European Union in terms of the growth rate of photovoltaic power, calculated on the basis of the cumulative annual growth rate - CAGR For Poland, the cumulative (combined) growth rate in 2016-2020 was 114 %, with the EU average of 10.3%. Therefore, in the medium term, we are the European leader in terms of the PV market growth dynamics and in 2020 we approached the world's top 10 countries in terms of power growth (13th place). Successive, better and better international forecasts confirm the strength, potential and growing position of the Polish photovoltaic market.
Figure 1 Cumulative installed PV power in Poland, as at the end of Q1 2020, data: ERO, OSD, comp. by IEO.
The installed power is gradually increasing, and the growth rate has been extremely high for two years. 2020 was the best year in the history of photovoltaics development in Poland. The installed power in photovoltaics at the end of 2020 amounted to 3,936 MW, which means an increase by 2,463 MW year on year and translates into a 200% increase year on year. Individual prosumers made the greatest contribution to the increase in new power. Thus, according to Solar Power Europe, in 2020 Poland was in 4th place in terms of increasing the installed PV power in the European Union. Only Germany, the Netherlands and Spain overtook us. According to the forecasts of IEO Poland, in 2021, once again in a row, it will maintain a high rate of power increase and the 4th place in the EU. The IEO estimates that at the end of 2021, the installed PV power in Poland may exceed 6 GW. Forecasts also indicate that the total turnover on the photovoltaic market in 2021 will exceed PLN 9 billion.
Capacity forecast, leading market segments, growth limits
Figure 2 Forecast of the installed power in PV [MW] until 2025, compiled by IEO
According to the IEO forecast, there are no indications for a slowdown in the photovoltaic market in the medium term. PV farm projects prepared for RES auctions, including large-scale ones, will have the main share in the increase in power in the coming years. Even if the pace of development of micro-installations slows down temporarily, the photovoltaics as a whole will not feel this fact in the next few years. It is a flexible, scalable technology, operating in several segments and many market niches. In addition, this year the role of business prosumers will also clearly increase, whose IEO forecasts growth at least 200 MW, and this trend will intensify in the coming years. According to the IEO forecast, the installed power in photovoltaics in 2022 will double its value at the end of 2020 and at the end of 2025 it may reach even 15 GW.
In 2021, photovoltaics may encounter the first regulatory restrictions and related to the limited availability of new projects, both prosumer and farm projects, to the grid infrastructure. Although they do not yet constitute hard barriers limiting further growth, the restriction of access to the Internet may inhibit new investments, even when regulations, the market and the social atmosphere are favourable
RES auctions as the basis for the development of the photovoltaic market
Figure 3 List of auction volumes for wind and photovoltaic projects over the years, compiled by IEO
After 5 years from the announcement of the first auctions, the auction system has become the most important instrument to support the photovoltaic market in Poland. In 2020, the RES auction basket for solar and wind technology with a power of less than 1 MW was once again dominated by solar energy. In 2019, the auction for projects above 1 MW was won by only 3 solar farm projects, but it was a harbinger of increasing competition of photovoltaic technology in this basket. In the renewable energy auction in 2020, photovoltaic installations shared the available volume almost half with wind farms. The distribution of auction prices for the large basket of winning bids shows that large solar and wind projects offered prices at a similar level. This confirms the thesis about the similarity of these markets and the fact that these technologies can already fully compete with each other and one can expect increasing auction volumes for large-scale PV projects.
The market of solar farms up to 1 MW is developing the most dynamically thanks to the auction system. Very strong competition in the "small" auction basket results from the large supply of these projects on the Polish market. According to IEO data, the conditions for connection to the distribution and transmission network are over 5,000. PV projects up to 1 MW with a total connection power of 4.7 GW.
Figure 4 Connection power of projects in individual power ranges, comp. by IEO, based on the database of Photovoltaic Projects in Poland
Currently, in the photovoltaic market, projects of large-scale PV farm (above 1 MW) are already balancing, in terms of connection power, small photovoltaic projects (up to 1 MW). According to IEO database, at the end of March 2021, 610 large solar farm projects with a total power of 5.6 GW had the conditions for connection to the grid. Large PV projects have attracted investors attention for about 3 years. In 2020, 2.8 GW of PV projects obtained the conditions for connection to the grid, and only in the first quarter of 2021 this decision was granted to 1.8 GW of PV projects.
The graph above shows the cumulative power of large-scale PV farm projects in the given power ranges. Among large solar projects, the largest part are projects of large solar power plants - above 50 MW. Most projects in this power area obtained connection conditions in 2020 and in the first quarter of 2021. In 2020, the conditions for connection to the grid were obtained by 10 projects with a total power of 1 GW, while in the first quarter of 2021 the conditions were obtained by 3 projects with a total power of approximately 615 MW.
PV industry and technology supply chain to the market
Figure 5 Structure of sales of modules on the domestic market in recent years, compiled by IEO, based on the PV market research conducted by IEO in 2018-2021.
This year's market research showed that monocrystalline modules absolutely dominated the market. It turns out that polycrystalline modules constitute only 2% of the modules introduced to the market by the surveyed sellers. The high share of monocrystalline modules in the market is in line with the trend that was observed in last year's study, when the share of monocrystalline was 80%. However, the almost 100% domination of this type of modules is a surprise. This is due to the fact that in 2017 and 2018 the situation was completely different and it was polycrystalline modules that covered most of the market. The change in the structure of the domestic market of sold modules took place in just 3 years
The PV market is not only the sale of installations to end users, but the entire supply chain generating added value for the economy. According to IEO analyses in photovoltaics, in 2020 the number of full-time employees in the industry could reach even 14.5 thousand while the number of people temporarily working in other forms of employment in photovoltaics may reach 21,000. It is a total of 35.5 thousand jobs in the domestic photovoltaic sector. Employees from the photovoltaic industry constitute a significant group of stakeholders who care about the development of the sector. This opens opportunities for the government and/or the regulator to dialogue with the industry and reach an agreement on the development of directions and support for the development of the entire photovoltaic sector in Poland.
Click on image to look into PV Market Report in Poland 2021
The Institute of Renewable Energy (IEO) has released the latest update of the database “Photovoltaic project in Poland”. It turns out that the development of PV projects is unimpeded and there is still interest of investors and developers in this field. The dynamics of photovoltaic projects development is important in the context of RES auctions. According to IEO, in this year's auction for photovoltaics there will be as strong competition as in the previous one.