“An over-sized or incorrectly selected PV installation may actually increase electricity bills. This is especially difficult considering the advertising campaigns that stretch the truth, and door to door salesmen who tell stories on how PV will certainly relieve you of your power bills,” says Patryk Demski, Tauron’s Vice President for Strategy.
BiznesAlert.pl: The Fit for 55 package is another regulatory package aimed at accelerating the climate policy. What is Tauron’s answer?
Patryk Demski: We are adapting to the rapid changes. We are trying to implement them in our strategy, as well as in the operational activities consisting in developing RES and trying to find a place in the energy transition. However, it is important to remember we have responsibilities when it comes to energy security. We have a lot of difficult assets that we need to restructure, so it is difficult for us to act quickly. Tauron’s Green Turn will be subject to ongoing adjustments due to the Fit for 55, which has implications for the pace of our transformation. The first details on the package, which is still subject to negotiations and implementation, reveal the risks associated with the rapid implementation of these solutions. We are bound by the process of allocating coal assets to the National Energy Security Agency, which is affected by rising CO2 prices, and at the same time we have to chase after those who do not have such burdens, such as hedge funds, which have a much greater appetite for risk. It is difficult, but necessary. You can compare this situation to an unequal race. Players on a level playing field can compete fairly, but we have obligations in the energy market, we play a specific role on it. We look at RES as a necessary element for the implementation of the strategy. Renewables have to cooperate with the professional energy sector, but they are already creating tensions. Other market participants are sometimes free of any obligations, and look only at profit and return, often from the sale of projects. They only look at Excel, and we look at less measurable aspects. Our journey on the energy transition path requires more commitment and money from us. We create strategic value, but at the same time we want to be greener.
Increasing amounts of renewables in Poland means more emission-free energy, but is also a challenge for distributors.
We support the development of RES, and participate in this process by buying and building photovoltaic and wind farms. However, we are mindful of the need to optimise the structure of energy supply to the grid. The development of RES is inherently beneficial, but also quite challenging. An over-sized or incorrectly selected PV installation may actually raise energy prices on the bill. This is especially difficult considering the advertising campaigns that stretch the truth, and door to door salesmen who tell stories on how PV will certainly relieve you of your electricity bills.
How to fix this problem?
Tauron sells photovoltaics. However, we don’t have installation teams. If customers are investing in Tauron’s PV, then we should learn to respond to their needs. We need to constantly adapt our products and services, such as balancing, aggregation, offers for communities, car charging or storage of excess power produced by PV panels. We need to be more active, help organize this market, educate. We have to show that an installation that is too big will not yield more profits and energy independence, and instead it will cause grid breakdowns, which will impact the clients. By taking care of the prosumers right after the signing of the contract, we have a chance to clearly explain that all that glitters in not gold.
Interview by Wojciech Jakóbik