Energy Regulatory Office

https://www.ure.gov.pl/en/communication/news/378,The-number-of-RES-micro-installations-in-Poland-exceeds-14-million.html
18.07.2024, 03:05

The number of RES micro-installations in Poland exceeds 1.4 million

In 2023, the number of renewable micro-installations increased to over 1.4 million, and their installed capacity exceeded 11.3 GW. Invariably, prosumer photovoltaic installations come out on top. Compared to previous years, however, the growth rate for this type of installations slowed down, both in terms of their number and incremental capacity.

These are the conclusions of the latest report on energy generated from renewable energy sources in micro-installations and exported to the distribution grid in 2023[1], prepared by the URE.

- For years, we have seen the market for prosumer renewable energy installations grow rapidly, with their number reaching 1.4 million by 2023. The dynamics of their development over recent years, both in terms of the number and capacity of RES micro-installations, confirms the need for increased investment in grid infrastructure. And distribution networks are one of the most important areas of activity undertaken by the URE - emphasises the President of URE, Rafał Gawin.

According to the report, at the end of 2023, 1,403,875 micro-installations generating electricity were connected to the electricity grid in Poland, with a total installed capacity of nearly 11.3 GW. Almost 98 per cent of such installations were used by prosumers, who operated 1,386,792 micro-installations.

Fig. 1. Increase in the number of micro-installations between 2018 and 2023 – total and prosumer micro-installations.

The majority, i.e. more than 99.9 per cent (1,403,199), of the RES micro-installations in our country used solar photovoltaic (PV) energy. These types of installations also account for the vast majority, 99.8 per cent and 11.3 GW, respectively, of installed micro-installation capacity.

Fig. 2. Total increase in installed capacity in RES microgeneration units in the years 2018-23 (in GW)

In 2023, RES micro-installations delivered more than 7.3 TWh of electricity to the distribution networks, with solar energy accounting for nearly all of the generated power (99.7 per cent). Almost 98 per cent (7.1 TWh) of the power exported to the grid came from installations operated by prosumers.

However, in contrast to previous years, there was a slight decrease in the share of prosumers in the total amount of energy delivered to the network by all micro-installation generators in 2023. In previous years, this share has gradually increased, reaching 98.1 per cent at the end of 2022. By contrast, in 2023, it fell marginally to 97.7 per cent.

Fig. 3 Energy delivered to the DSO networks by RES micro-installations in 2018-23, including prosumer installations (GWh)

At the end of 2023, more than two-thirds of prosumer micro-installations (nearly 930,000) were connected to the grid of two operators: PGE Dystrybucja and Tauron Dystrybucja. Also, nearly two thirds of the power produced by the smallest RES installations was exported to the networks of these DSOs.

Importantly, in recent years the growth rates have been slowing down both in terms of the number of new micro-installations and the incremental amount of electricity they produce. The growth dynamics for the number of prosumer micro-installations declined from around 41 per cent in 2022 to around 15 per cent in 2023. The volume of electricity delivered by them to the grid also grew at a slower rate, going down from around 110 per cent in 2022 to around 26 per cent in 2023.

Fig. 4 Growth dynamics of the number of micro-installations and the amount of energy delivered the grid between 2018 and 2023.

***

  • Micro-installations are the smallest RES installations connected to an electricity network with a rated voltage of less than 110 kV, which, according to the statutory definition[2], have a total installed electrical capacity of up to 50 kW and, optionally, a cogeneration heat output of no more than 150 kW.
  • Micro and small RES units benefit from a number of preferences such as simplified formalities (e.g. easier connection to the grid, no need to obtain a licence, just an entry in the register of generators operating small-scale units; exemption from the costs of commercial balancing) or support mechanisms for the sale of electricity (so-called obliged supplier designated in a given area obliged to buy electricity from such a generator).
  • Currently, settlements with prosumers in respect of the electricity they produce are based on two systems, the so-called discount system (net-metering)[3] or the net-billing system[4].
  • The URE’s report on energy generated and supplied the grid by RES micro-installations presents aggregate data, as it is compiled, among other things, on the basis of a list of micro-installation electricity generators, the data of which, for the most part, concern natural persons and are subject to protection under data protection legislation.

[1] Report prepared in accordance with Article 6a(2)(1) of the Act on Renewable Energy Sources of 20 February 2015 (Journal of Laws of 2023, item 1436, as amended).
[2] Article 2(19) of the RES Act.
[3] For “old” installations, i.e. those connected to the grid by the end of March 2022, it provides for preferential settlement terms in respect of electricity supplied to the grid by the prosumer or taken from the grid (when the prosumer’s facility does not produce electricity or does not cover its energy needs in full). A prosumer with a unit up to 10 kWp may take from the grid 0.8 kWh for each 1 kWh supplied to the grid.
[4] Applies to prosumers that connected their microgeneration units to the grid after 1 April 2022 or decided to switch to the new settlement model. Currently it provides for the power surplus supplied to the grid to be compensated for at the average market price of electricity in the preceding month (according to the RCEm index). The compensation for the electricity exported to the grid is transferred to an individual deposit account of the prosumer, used to offset the bills for electricity purchased from the grid.

20.05.2024

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