Summary of Renewable Energy Sources Auctions conducted in 2019

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In December 2019, the President of Energy Regulatory Office (“ERO”) has announced the results of all auctions for renewable energy sources (“RES auctions”) that he conducted in November/December 2019. In sum:

  1. The government allocated PLN 69.6 bn for 12 auctions. PLN 44.3 bn was allocated to installations which will start generating electricity after the auctions (“New Installations”) and PLN 25.3 bn to installations which started generating electricity before 30 June 2016, enabling them to migrate to the auction system (“Existing Installations”). Separate auctions were held for installations with a capacity of <1 MW (“Small Installations”) and >1 MW (“Large Installations”). See the table below for the 2019 auction budgets and our previous newsletter).
  2. Only 5 of the 12 RES auctions were resolved. This includes two RES auctions dedicated to onshore wind and PV installations and three RES auctions for other technologies. The other RES auctions were cancelled as they failed to attract the minimum three offers.

Auctions for large wind installations

  1. RES auctions for New, Large onshore wind and PV installations were dominated by large onshore wind projects. 77 837 229.723 MWh was auctioned out of the 113 970 000 MWh offered by the state (68.3% of the volume). In terms of funds, PLN 16 228 229 935.62 was awarded out of a budget of PLN 32.577 billion (49.81% of the funds).
  2. Support was awarded to 101 projects (out of 164 offers). In this auction the rule that winning bids could not exceed 80% of the total bid offers (in term of volume) applied. As a result, 63 projects were discarded despite the fact that 31.7% of the budget in terms of MWh and more than 50% in terms of funds, was still available.
  3. The prices awarded were in the range of 162.83-233.29 PLN/MWh, up from the 2018 range of PLN/MWh 157.8-216.99. The prices awarded are still some way below the wholesale prices of electricity in Poland. The average spot price of electricity in December 2019 was PLN/MWh 184.80 as compared to PLN/MWh 217.90 in November 2019.
  4. According to the ERO President’s announcement, the winning projects correspond to more than 2.2 GW of the installed wind energy capacity. An undisclosed number of large PV installations in this basket secured support of c. PLN 129 million.
  5. Further to auctions for Large installations in 2018 and 2019, more than 3.3 GW of new wind projects were awarded support. This is a significant portfolio compared with a 74 MW wind capacity increase occurring between 31.12.2016 and 30.06.2019 (ERO data). This may also mean that support was awarded to most of the wind projects pre-dating the “Distance Act” (which stopped the development of new wind projects). The parameters of numerous installations could well require updates, and successful realization of these projects will depend largely on their ability to obtain financing.
  6. ERO’s announcement suggests that the first utility-scale PV installations were awarded auction benefits in this basket. Until now, it was assumed that large PVs could not compete with wind installations, thus the PV sector was focused on small installations only. However, as the Distance Act has restricted the development of new wind projects and a large number of pre-developed wind projects secured support at auctions in 2018 and 2019, the utility scale PV sector is expected to grow and bid successfully at future RES auctions.

Auctions for small PV

  1. RES auction for New, Small onshore wind and PV installations was dominated by PV projects. 11 436 779.782 MWh out of 11 445 000 MWh offered by the state (99.93% of the volume) was auctioned. In terms of funds, PLN 3 633 317 275.72 was awarded out a budget of PLN 4.21365 billion (49.81%).
  2. Support was awarded to 759 projects (out of 1044 offers) in this sector.
  3. Prices awarded were in the range of 269-327 PLN/MWh. ERO stated that offers priced at PLN 327 were made by 44 different projects. Thus, the time the offer was made proved the decisive selection criterion. A difference of 5 seconds was recorded between the last winning bid and the first losing bid.
  4. The prices at Small PV auctions have dropped consistently every year. In 2016, the maximum price was PLN/ MWh 408.8: in 2017 it went down to 398.87 and in 2018 to 364.99. This means a decrease in the maximum price of PLN/MWh 81 within 3 years.
  5. ERO has not disclosed the installed capacity of the winning projects, but ca. 900 MW of PV installations were awarded support in 2019. This corresponds with the capacity awarded in this auction as well as in the auction for Large Installations.
  6. The auction in 2019 illustrates the robustness of the Small PV installations segment. 717 projects participated in the 2018 auction and 163 were rejected. In 2019 more than 1000 projects put in bids at auction, which indicates that more than 800 projects were developed within one year. This also demonstrates that this type of project has a short investment process and it is expected that there will be significant competition at auction next year as well.

Other auctions

  1. Other resolved auctions related to installations using agricultural biogas and biomass. Limited competition was observed at these auctions.
  2. In the RES auction dedicated to Existing, Large agricultural biogas Installations only 219 837.15 MWh out of the 3 433 219 MWh offered by the state (6.4% of the volume) was auctioned. Support was awarded to two of the three competing projects. The prices awarded were 617.5 and 633.9 PLN/MWh.
  3. In the RES auction dedicated to Existing, Small agricultural biogas Installations, 269 472.549 MWh out of the 1 149 296 MWh offered by the state (23.45% of the volume) was auctioned. Support was awarded to four of the six competing projects. The prices awarded ranged from 640.55 to 664.49 PLN/MWh.
  4. In the RES auction for Large New biomass installations, 975 000 MWh out of the 14 910 000 MWh offered by the state (6.54% of the volume) was auctioned. Support was awarded to one out of the four competing projects. The price awarded was 400 PLN/MWh.

    Schedule 1
    Budgets in RES auction in 2019

    --> Scroll to see full table data
    Basket Installation type Budget (MWh) Budget (PLN)
    Offered Allocated Offered Allocated
    Onshore wind energy, solar radiation energy New Installations up to 1 MW 11 445 000 11 436 780 4 213 650 000 3 633 317 276
    New Installations above 1 MW 113 970 000 77 837 230 32 577 000 000 16 228 229 936
    Biogas other than agricultural, hybrid systems, installations of thermal combustion Existing Installations up to 1 MW 1 120 000 - 694 400 000 -
    Existing Installations above 1 MW 34 000 000 - 20 740 000 00 -
    New Installations above 1 MW 14 910 000 975 000 5 577 600 000 390 000 000
    Hydropower, bioliquids, geothermal energy, offshore wind energy Existing Installations up to 1 MW 1 475 211 - 811 366 050 -
    New Installations up to 1 MW 140 400 - 71 280 000 -
    New Installations above 1 MW 594 000 - 285 120 000 -
    Agricultural biogas Existing Installations up to 1 MW 1 149 296 269 473 838 986 080 177 447 997
    Existing Installations above 1 MW 3 433 219 219 837 2 197 260 000 137 954 584
    New Installations up to 1 MW 1 341 821 - 939 274 880 -
    New Installations above 1 MW 1 170 000 - 678 600 000 -
    --> Scroll to see full table data

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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