Direct electricity lines finally become a real option for Polish renewable energy sources
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News: 21 December 2023
Publications: 28 November 2022
Publications: 05 August 2022
An amendment to the Polish Energy Law, effective from 7 September 2023, will create new opportunities for entities interested in securing renewable energy in Poland. The amendment introduces significant changes to the rules and procedures for establishing and operating direct lines in Poland, enabling developers and off-takers to bypass the grid constraints and access renewable energy sources more directly and efficiently.
Evolution of Direct Lines Under Previous Regulations
Previously, the establishment of direct lines was subject to strict regulation and approval. The conditions required consumers to be permanently disconnected from the National Power System, a requirement that, along with the bureaucratic approval process, made the implementation of direct lines practically impossible and therefore never used in practice.
The amended Energy Law offers more flexibility, introducing two distinct models of direct lines. The first model connects a separate generating unit directly with a distinct consumer for electricity delivery. The second facilitates the connection of one energy company’s generating unit with another energy company that does not produce electricity in that unit, intended for direct electricity delivery to the latter’s facilities (which also includes the facilities of its subsidiaries or consumers connected to its grid or facilities).
The need to obtain the approval of the President of the Energy Regulatory Office has been abolished. Entities can now establish a direct line through a simplified notification system, marking a considerable reduction in administrative constraints.
The amendment also introduces the “Solidarity Fee” and an additional fee for maintaining the system’s quality and reliability to be paid by consumers and energy companies connected to the direct lines based on the volume of electricity received through a direct line. These fees ensure the equitable distribution of operational costs, averting the imposition of a disproportionate financial burden on specific segments of electricity consumers. The fees will be established in the tariffs of distribution system operators based on subordinate legislation that has yet to be implemented. Until that legislation is enacted, obliged entities will have to pay a fee being the sum of two factors: half of the variable component of a network rate and the fee for quality and reliability standards, both based on the tariff group to which the customer or the energy company belongs.
This obligation does not apply to consumers not connected to a public grid.
This amendment to the Energy Law is a significant development, enhancing the accessibility and operational flexibility of direct lines for renewable energy sources in Poland.