Solar power is the main driver of renewable energy development in Poland, which is on track to achieve 20 GW of PV capacity by 2025, according to a new report. Regulatory changes and rising electricity prices led to a “spectacular success” for the country’s PV industry in 2021.
Poland’s solar PV capacity in 2022 exceeded 10 GW in May and is expected to reach 12 GW by the end of the year, according to a new report published by the Institute for Renewable Energy (IEO).
The country is on track to achieve 20 GW of PV capacity by 2025 and a cumulative installed capacity of 28.5 GW by 2030, the “Photovoltaic Market in Poland 2022” report finds.
Regulatory changes and rising electricity prices resulted in a “spectacular success” for Poland’s PV industry in 2021, the IEO noted. Installed PV capacity at the end of 2021 was 7.6 GW, with growth of new capacity at more than 3.7 GW.
Highlighting the country’s strong PV growth, the authors of the tenth-anniversary edition of the report describe the last 10 years as “the golden decade of Polish photovoltaics.”
As in previous years individual prosumers made a considerable contribution, accounting for an almost 80% market share. Poland’s auction system also brought measurable effects — the first gigawatt of capacity in photovoltaic farms is already feeding energy into the grid.
Installed PV capacity in the EU amounted to 158 GW at the end of 2021, an increase of 21.4 GW. Poland is now likely to be in second place behind Germany in terms of installed PV capacity growth.
The IEO predicts the domestic PV market will maintain its growth in the coming years thanks to the rapid increase in the capacity of photovoltaic farms.
“Solar energy is the primary driver of RES development in Poland,” said Minister Ireneusz Zyska, Poland’s government plenipotentiary for renewable energy sources. “This results from a deliberate and responsible government policy aimed at ensuring energy security and a stable energy supply to end-users.”
PV has become the technology with the highest installed capacity in domestic renewable energy, Zyska added, citing the report’s findings.
“This is something to be proud of for the industry and a challenge to pave the way for further successes. It is crucial to create the right legal and economic environment for further development of the sector on market terms.”
Further cooperation between the government administration and industry stakeholders is necessary for Poland to continue its energy transformation based on modern zero-emission technologies, Zyska said.
To that end, the country’s Sectoral Agreement, approved in December, aims to build up the PV industry value chain with particular emphasis on maximizing the Polish contribution to increase local content.
The report also addresses current challenges related to underinvestment in power grids, rising prices of raw materials for PV panels, including aluminum and silicon, and supply chain disruptions that are hampering the availability of modules and inverters and causing price increases.
“For the first time, the prices of finished installations also increased year on year, by about 5% on average, which is a global trend, but the prices of energy contracted in auction projects did not increase, which distinguishes the Polish market from the global one,” the IEO stated.
“The situation in 2021 is the culmination of many years of work by the entire industry particularly, the PV boom of the last four years, when PV became an investment hit and an economical vehicle on a European scale,” said IEO President Grzegorz Wiśniewski. “In terms of new PV capacity additions in 2018, Poland ranked eighth in the EU27, fifth in 2019, fourth in 2020 and second in 2021, with impressive annual capacity additions: 3.7 GW.”
Wiśniewski added, however, that further success would depend on the effectiveness of removing infrastructure and location constraints and increasing resistance to supply chain disruption through domestic investment in the equipment manufacturing industry and technological innovation.
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