RECs and CECs
In May 2021, Poland has published amendments to its electricity act and its renewable support act. The latter defines energy communities as an energy cooperative operating in the area of one DSO or a gas distribution network. It supplies electricity, biogas or heat, in the case of electricity with a rated voltage lower than 110 kV.
For the amount of electricity generated in all installations of renewable energy sources of an energy cooperative, and consumed by the cooperative consumers, reductions of grid surcharges and taxes apply. Energy cooperatives don’t need to pay RES charges, the capacity fee and the cogeneration fee. RES fees are charged by power distribution companies since 1 July 2016 and amount to 3.70 PLN/MWh in 2017. The capacity fee was introduced in 2021 and amounts between PLN 1.87 and – PLN 10.46. Also, energy communities are exempt from excise duty provided that the renewable production installations of the energy cooperative do not exceed 1 MW.
There are some general limitations on capacity:
- The total installed electrical capacity of all renewable energy installations cannot exceed 10 MW and enables to cover not less than 70% of own needs during the year an energy cooperative and its members.
- In the case of biogas the annual capacity of all installations does not exceed 40 million m3.
- In the case of heat the total achievable thermal power does not exceed 30 MW.
The cooperative operates in the area of a rural or urban-rural commune and does not include more than 3 communities of this type directly adjacent to each other; the number of its members should be less than 1000.