Energy Environment 11 August, 2017 9:00 am   
Editorial staff

Government argues over amendment to RES act 

As part of the discussion on the Act on renewable energy sources (RES act), the Ministry of Economic Development (MR) offered its position on the proposed changes, which it believes may stop the development of the offshore wind energy sector. Additionally, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Construction (MIB)  thinks that the so-called ‘proximity’ act, which pertains to investments in wind farms does not require changes as part of the works on the amendment to the RES Act. 

MR: amendment to the RES Act may result in stopping the development of offshore wind farms

The bill stipulates that producers will be able to join auctions on the basis of a valid construction permit and not on the basis of an environmental permit and a valid permit to build and use artificial islands, constructions and devices in Polish marine areas, as it is today.

“According to the Ministry of Development, the proposed changes may contribute to hampering the development of the offshore wind energy sector. This is because the bill does not allow investors whose projects already have valid environmental permits to participate in auctions and it halts the implementation of projects, which will result in losing the issued and valid permits to build offshore wind farms and concluded connection agreements,” the ministry wrote.

The ministry believes that the obligation to acquire a construction permit without determining the price level in an auction increases investment risk and may block the development of offshore wind farms in the country.

According to MIB, the amendment should not pertain to the ‘proximity’ act 

The Ministry of Infrastructure and Construction believes that the so-called ‘proximity’ act on wind farm investments does not require changes that should be introduced together with the amendment to the RES act.

At the end of June the Minister of Energy submitted for consultations the bill on amending the RES Act and the Act on investments in wind power plants, i.e. the so-called ‘proximity’ act.

MIB believes changes to the ‘proximity’ act are not justifiable in this instance:

“(…) I believe the works on the bill should be continued only with regard to the changes to the RES act. The existing social and economic conditions do not justify any changes in the Act on wind power plants and the Act on construction law. The proposed changes will have a negative impact on, among others, the efficiency of construction supervision authorities, spatial planning and local communities,” Tomasz Żuchowski Vice-Minister of Infrastructure and Construction wrote.

One of the main changes to the RES act and the Act on wind farms is the proposal to return to the previous rules of calculating the property tax for wind power plants. The bill wants to redefine a wind power plant by splitting it into two parts – a construction part and a technical one. In result the tax would be levied only on the construction part.

The Ministry wants to cross out the point, which changes the definition of the wind power plant.

“The justification says that the reason behind introducing the above change is related to real estate tax (the technical part would be exempt). However, it should be stressed that the definition of a wind power station included in the Act is not related to tax purposes, especially to calculating the tax amount, rather it is related to the regulations on conducting investments and maintaining such a facility,” the ministry wrote.

“If the lawmakers identified problems with the real estate tax calculations, they should solve them using tax regulations.”

Polish Press Agency