This article has been updated to include comment from Greenpeace Poland.
Poland’s Energy Regulatory Office announced last week that it has awarded nearly 1 gigawatt (GW) of wind energy in a mixed renewable energy auction held on November 5 at prices so low experts believe the country could award a further 850 megawatts (MW) of capacity.
The Polish Energy Regulatory Office revealed the results of five separate renewable energy auctions held over the first two weeks of November. Two auctions yielded no awarded generation due to lack of offers, while a third auction awarded only one contract to what appears to be a biomass project. A fourth auction yielded contracts for what appears to be 29 biogas projects ranging in price from PLN 538.86/MWh to PLN 569.69/MWh and totaling around 3.490 terawatt-hours to be sold over 15 years.
The biggest news to come out of the five auctions, however, was the 31 onshore wind projects which were awarded contracts at an average price of PLN 196.17 ($51.96/€45.55) per MWh, and ranging in price from PLN 157.80/MWh to 216.99/MWh. In total, nearly 1 GW worth of capacity generating 41.997 TWh over 15 years were awarded contracts.
Among the various winners were German energy company Innogy (a subsidiary of RWE), Portugal electricity operator EDP, and Poland’s PGE.
“These prices are extremely competitive,” said Giles Dickson, CEO of Europe’s wind energy trade body, WindEurope. “They’re lower than we’ve seen in recent auctions in Germany and France. Prices were so low that the Polish government used only 55% of the budget it had allocated for the auction. This means it can re-allocate nearly €2 billion for an additional 850 MW of capacity.
“It’s also good news for Polish electricity consumers,” Dickson added. “Poland has relatively high electricity prices. This will help to put downward pressure on prices. Onshore wind makes perfect economic sense for Poland. It’s cheaper than new coal or nuclear. With these prices in mind, Poland should now look to be ambitious in its National Energy and Climate Plan for 2030 and include detailed plans for both onshore and offshore wind. But Poland’s stringent set-back distance law on wind turbines needs fixing to allow for future growth.”
“The recent results of the renewable energy auctions in Poland have finally confirmed that the wind energy is truly competitive in relation to coal energy,” said Anna Ogniewska from Greenpeace Poland. “Some energy market experts even say that these results are a real sensation. The cheapest, new wind farms will deliver energy at less than 160 PLN/MWh. It looks really advantageous in comparison to coal units. The cheapest new coal units need over 300 PLN/MWh to pay off, and the current electricity price on the market oscillates around 250 PLN/MWh.”
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