Following public consultations conducted by the minister of state assets, the Ministry of Climate has published a new version of the draft Promotion of Electricity Generation in Offshore Wind Farms Act. The structure of the draft act, as well as the basic shape of the support system, remain largely intact. However, a number of changes have been made, including with respect to the definition of an 'offshore wind farm'.
The Supreme Court recently held that imposing a contractual penalty on energy consumers due to the early termination of a contract for energy supply is prohibited. This latest ruling seems to change the current interpretation of the legal provisions on the possibility of imposing a contractual penalty on acceptance in the case of early termination of a contract which was concluded for a fixed period.
A recent amendment to the Personal Income Tax Act and the Corporate Income Tax Act has introduced an income tax exemption for benefits received from the Low-Emission Transport Fund (ie, subsidies for purchasing e-vehicles). The Low-Emission Transport Fund was established in 2018 and is tasked with financing projects relating to the development of electromobility and transport based on alternative fuels.
The draft Promotion of Electricity Generation in Offshore Wind Farms Act was recently published on the Government Legislation Centre's website. Among other things, the proposed act aims to create a regulatory environment that encourages investors to carry out offshore wind farm projects. In turn, this will enable Poland to fulfil its obligations under the EU Promotion of Energy from Renewable Sources Directive.
The first implementing regulations of the Act of 14 December 2018 on the Promotion of Electricity from High-Efficiency Cogeneration were published on 21 August 2019. The act aims to exploit the potential of cogeneration to improve air quality in Poland and increase the efficiency of heating and cooling systems.
The prime minister and the minister of the environment recently presented a new programme called My Electricity, which aims to promote the use of photovoltaics. The introduction of My Electricity is one way to achieve the government's renewable energy target (ie, 15% of energy from renewable sources by 2020); however, additional programmes that support renewable energy production are needed.
Maciej Bando's five-year term of office as the President of the Energy Regulatory Office recently came to an end. A new head of the regulatory body may lead to a change of method in the execution of some competences under its administrative discretion. This change of method may be particularly visible in network and supply activities, as most of the regulations in this regard are developed by the President of the Energy Regulatory Office and other administrative bodies in the European Union.
The Act on Promoting Electricity from High-Efficiency Cogeneration recently entered into force. It establishes support mechanisms for combined heat and power (CHP) installations connected to district heating networks, which will replace the previous support scheme that expired at the end of 2018 and was based essentially on certificates of origin for energy from CHP installations.
The energy sector regulator recently announced the final version of the auction bylaws required under the new renewable energy support scheme and the dates of the first auctions to be held under the scheme. The bylaws set out the detailed rules for preparing and conducting auctions, creating and maintaining auction participant profiles on the online auction platform and processing data regarding auction participants.
Under the Renewable Energy Sources Act 2015, the Council of Ministers must annually set the maximum volume and value of electricity that can be sold at auction in the next calendar year and, at the minister of energy's request, the order in which the auctions will be held. The government recently published draft regulations setting out the maximum volume and value of electricity that can be sold at auction in 2017 and the order in which the auctions will take place.
The government recently held its first reading of Bill 999 amending the Energy Law and other acts. The bill's main aim is to eliminate tariffs from the Polish natural gas market and remove the obligation on power companies to submit gas tariffs to the president of the Energy Regulatory Office for approval. Eliminating tariffs will hopefully increase the number of entities operating in the natural gas market.
Two acts introducing significant changes to the renewable energy support scheme and the rules for locating and constructing wind farms were recently passed. The Act Amending the Renewable Energy Sources Act sets out new rules for subsidy mechanisms, while the Act on Investments in Wind Power Plants establishes new rules for wind farms that could significantly limit the development of such projects in Poland.
A draft act amending the Renewable Energy Sources (RES) Act was recently submitted to Parliament. The Draft Amendment Act introduces a number of significant changes to the RES Act, including a modified definition of a 'RES installation', a limit on the electricity purchase obligation and the introduction of additional categories for the subsidy auction mechanism.
The entry into force of Chapter 4 of the Renewable Energy Sources (RES) Act, which modified the support system for generators of electricity from renewable sources, has been delayed. The wording of the act allows for different interpretations of the degree to which a RES project should be completed before Chapter 4 comes into force for a given generation unit to be included in the green certificate support system.
Chapter 4 of the recently enacted Act on Renewable Energy Sources introduces a new support system for renewable energy sources (RES). This includes guaranteed electricity prices in the form of feed-in tariffs for small-scale installations or feed-in premiums for larger RES installations, as well as new rules regarding the maximum volume and value of electricity which can be auctioned annually.
Parliament recently adopted special legislation aimed at simplifying and speeding up investments in power transmission networks. The legislation's most significant new tools concern the permit-granting process and the introduction of a comprehensive administrative decision regarding the location of a strategic investment in transmission networks.
Parliament recently completed work on a legislative proposal to establish control over investments in shares, businesses or structural components of business in the energy sector that result in a majority stake or dominant position being held by strategic companies. The proposal also sets out penalties for breaching the obligations it sets out.
The main opposition party, PiS (Law and Justice), has proposed a moratorium on the construction of wind farms. The likelihood of this being introduced before the parliamentary elections in October 2015 is slim. However, as PiS could find itself in a strong position in Parliament after the elections, the possibility of legal intervention regarding the construction of new wind farms cannot be excluded.
A bill before Parliament proposes new rules on the location of renewable energy sources (RES) and the commissioning of wind turbines. Under the bill, the permitted locations for RES plants would be determined on the basis of a local zoning plan, or a planning permit where no such plan exists, and permits for use would be required before wind turbines could start to operate.
Parliament recently passed the Renewable Energy Sources Act. During the final stages of the legislative process, a new mechanism aimed at verifying the incentive effect was introduced into the act. This mechanism should be seen as an additional condition for the issuance of certificates of origin for an entity operating a renewable energy source whose construction commenced after the act entered into force.