Energy 27 July, 2023 7:35 am   
COMMENTS: Joanna Słowińska

Polish Briefing: Poland takes Fit for 55 to court I Senate’s cable pooling amendment I Tauron wants more heat in Silesia

TrybunałSprawiedliwościUE The seat of the CJEU in Luxembourg. Picture by Wikimedia Commons

Poland will take to court the entire Fit for 55 package

Minister of Climate and Environment Anna Moskwa said that Poland would take all documents of the Fit for 55 package to the Court of Justice of the European Union. “We do not accept the entire ETS system, so additional restrictive provisions changing this system and deepening the disease are unacceptable, ” she added in an interview with the Gazeta Polska daily.

“We have decided to challenge all documents from the Fit for 55 package before the court of Justice of the EU. We do this for a simple reason, because as a member of the European Union, we have the right to do so,” Moskwa told the newspaper.

The Minister noted that Poland did not accept the EU CO2 emissions trading system (EU ETS). “[ … ] Additional restrictive provisions changing this system and further exacerbating the disease are unacceptable. In addition, its legal basis is very doubtful, since it was adopted by a simple majority vote as a climate document. This is an energy document and affects the energy policy of the state, and thus requires unanimity. If there had been unanimity, it would not have been adopted. So we have a strong legal basis,” the minister explained.

The Fit for 55 directives and regulations are legal acts aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55 percent by 2030 (compared to 1990) and achieving climate neutrality by 2050. This year’s April vote adopted, among others, the reform of the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) and the new carbon frontier mechanism (CBAM). The social Climate Fund (SCF) was also established.

Polish Press Agency / Gazeta Polska / Jędrzej Stachura

Senate to add cable pooling to renewable energy bill

The Senate Committee on the economy adopted on Tuesday a package of editorial amendments to the amendments to the Law on Renewables. The senators announced they would propose amendments that would enable adding a few RES installations to the grid via one connection, i.e. cable pooling.

The amendment to the RES Act partially implements the RED II directive (on the support of renewable energy sources) into Polish law mostly in the areas of heating and cooling and guarantees of origin. It also includes solutions for offshore, biomethane, energy clusters, operational support for RES, hybrid installations. It introduces a definition of biomethane, a register of biogas producers, abolishes support for biogas in the form of certificates of origin, and establishes operational support for biomethane in the form of a feed-in-premium system. Biomethane is added to the catalogue of gaseous fuels.

The regulations proposed in these amendments will assume that renewable energy producers willing to use cable pooling will have to conclude an appropriate agreement between themselves, as a result of which one of these producers will apply for connection conditions to the grid using a single connection for all the sources covered by the agreement. The announcement of the introduction of these provisions was welcomed by the representatives of the Polish Wind Energy Association and the Lewiatan Confederation present at the commission meeting. The RES industry has long indicated that cable pooling would increase the ability to connect more renewable sources to the network.

In the area of clusters, there is a change in the definition of a cluster, where it must include at least one local government unit, and the scope of the cluster’s activities is expanded to include energy storage. Clusters will be able to operate on the territory of one poviat, five neighboring communes, and additionally on the territory of one distribution network operator. The act also introduces a cluster registry and establishes the rules for cooperation and settlements of the cluster with the OSD.

Under the support scheme, energy produced and then consumed by the cluster parties will be exempt from RES and cogeneration charges and obligations related to certificates of origin and certificates of energy efficiency. By the end of 2026, it will be required that at least 30 percent of the energy produced and supplied to the grid by the parties to the cluster agreement comes from renewable energy sources, and the total capacity of installed installations in the energy cluster does not exceed 150 MW and allows covering during the year not less than 40 percent of the total annual demand of the parties to the energy cluster agreement. In addition, the total capacity of the energy storage facilities of the parties to the energy cluster agreement should be at least 2 percent of the total installed capacity of the generation facilities in that cluster. From 2027, these requirements will be increased.

When it comes to transposition, the RED II creates an obligation to connect renewable energy installations to the heating network and to purchase heat from renewable energy, including from waste incineration plants, and waste heat. The legislation introduces a methodology for calculating the amount of energy from RES generated by heat pumps. The amendment provides for the introduction of a guarantee of the origin of heat or cold produced from RES.

It is also planned to raise the capacity threshold for photovoltaic installations, above which a building permit is required from 50 to 150 kW.

The act introduces into the energy law the basis for contracting energy on the basis of a PPA (Power Purchase Agreement), understood as the sale of electricity from RES directly from the producer. It also introduces an operational support mechanism for the indicated RES sources, which expire after a 15-year period of support from the certificate of origin system.

It also provides for the extension of the cooperative’s scope of activity to include the turnover and storage of energy from biogas and biomethane, as well as the modification of the cooperative’s area of activity. The limit of 1,000 members of the cooperative is scrapped, by the end of 2025 the requirement to cover the demand of the cooperative by RES is reduced from 70 to 40 percent.

The new regulations include the establishment of a renting prosumer, which is intended to facilitate settlements in the case of renewable energy sources installed on multi-storey buildings, such as residential blocks. New guarantees of origin from RES are introduced: biomethane, heat or cold, renewable hydrogen. Electricity generated from biomass will be classified as renewable energy only if certain conditions are met.

The law provides that the maximum capacity of offshore wind farms that can receive support in the form of contracts for difference in auctions, scheduled for 2025-2031, is increased to 12 GW.

Polish Press Agency / Jacek Perzyński

Tauron wants to take over the main heat supplier in the south of Silesia

Plants belonging to PGNiG Termika Energetyka Przemysłowa may be transferred to the Tauron Group. The energy leader has started talks with the Orlen Group, owner of PGNiG, on the sale of shares in the Stalowa Wola Power Plant, the shares of the company from Jastrzębie Zdrój may be part of the deal. PGNiG Termika Energetyka Przemysłowa (PGNiG TEP) is the main supplier of heat for residents of the Rybnik Coal District.

“The interest in the company from Jastrzębie is natural as it would strengthen and develop the heating business of the Group in the Silesian Voivodship. Last year, Energetyka Cieszyńska joined Tauron Ciepło,” said Paweł Szczeszek, president of the Tauron Group. “Our goal is to organize the Group’s ownership portfolio and, as a result, improve operational management. Recent changes in the ownership structures of both companies have not stopped negotiations on the acquisition of the entire Stalowa Wola power plant by Orlen,” adds the president of the energy leader.

The agreement to the letter of intent for the sale of ECSW shares, signed with PGNIG in 2021, does not entail an obligation to conclude a transaction. Such a decision will depend on the outcome of the negotiations in this area and the fulfillment of other conditions specified in the legislation or corporate documents. The agreement indicates the intention to continue talks regardless of the ownership changes of both companies.

The combined cycle power plant in Stalowa Wola operates in cogeneration, providing about 450 MW of electricity for the national energy system and heat supply for residents of Stalowa Wola and Niska.

Thanks to the use of natural gas as a fuel, the Stalowa Wola plant meets very strict environmental standards. Carbon dioxide emissions, which are around 360 kg / MWh, meet the requirements of the BAT conclusions (Best Available Techniques). The block is also characterized by very low emissions of nitrogen oxides and virtually no emissions of sulfur oxides. In addition, due to the location of the block in the city center, the absence of dust emissions is very important.

The Stalowa Wola Power Plant also operates a backup heat source, which consists of the boiler room and auxiliary installations and those connecting the boiler room with the combined heat and power plant. The boiler room has four boilers that heat mains water for the heating system Stalowa Wola and Niska and one boiler producing steam for local industrial customers.

PGNiG Termika Energetyka Przemysłowa is the main heat supplier for residents of Jastrzębie-Zdroj, Czerwionka-Leszczyn, Knurow, Kuźnia Raciborska, Pawłowice, Suszec, Racibórz, Rybnik, Wodzisław Śląski and Żory. The company from Jastrzębie also produces electricity and heat for local industry and residents.

It has six main plants in the Silesian Voivodeship. Those include combined heat and power plants and heating plants. These include smaller, regional heating plants, CHP plants and gas boiler rooms. The company also has more than 321 km of heating networks and external reception systems, which distribute heat to 10 municipalities and industrial customers.

PGNiG Termika produces compressed air and cooling for the mines of Jastrzębska Spółka Węglowa, while also remaining a key supplier of heat and electricity for this company.

Tauron Group / Jacek Perzyński