The Institute of Renewable Energy (Instytut Energetyki Odnawialnej, or IEO) stated via a news release on March 17 that Poland is forecasted to add 2GW of PV generation capacity in 2021. IEO is a Polish research organization that covers renewable energies. In its news release, IEO also stated that Poland’s total installed PV generation capacity will grow to the level of 15GW by 2025.
Based on its data and research, IEO believes that nearly 6GW of PV installations will enter operation by the end of this year. The PV installations that are included in IEO’s analysis vary in generation capacity, ranging from systems that are less than 50kW to systems for utility-scale projects. The 2GW that will be added this year mainly comprises PV systems subsidized under the “My Current Program” and PV project tenders that were issued in 2018 and 2019. The “My Current Program” was launched in 2019 to support the development of what the Polish government called the “prosumer” segment of the domestic PV market. As for PV project tenders, some of them have resumed implementation after experiencing delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. IEO anticipates that Poland’s total installed PV generation capacity will expand significantly and consistently over the next several years, reaching 8GW in 2023 and 15GW in 2025.
Data from state-owned transmission system operator Polskie Sieci Elektroenergetyczne (PSE) show that PV installations in the country rose by 2,463MW from the end of 2019 to the end of 2020. This is a massive 200% increase. By type, systems that are 50kW or under reached a total capacity of 2,973.7MW in 2020, while systems that are more than 500kW came to a total capacity of 75MW in the same year. The ratio between what IEO calls “micro-installations” and “PV farms” will gradually become more balanced in the future.
Poland has been reluctant to commit to the EU’s 2050 climate neutrality target. The reason is that its huge coal industry has long been its primary energy supplier and continues to exert considerable political influence. The Polish government finally put forward an energy transition strategy this March. Known as the Polish Energy Policy 2040, this plan calls for the followings: (1) having renewable energies make up 23% of the final energy consumption by 2030, (2) eventual phase out of coal mining by 2049, (3) a 30% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from the 1990 level, (4) a 23% reduction of primary energy consumption from the estimated 2007 level, and (5) expanding the adoption of nuclear power.