Showing posts from November, 2014

Revising the RES Law on Biogas: the Necessary Changes

The Government is coming to the realization that the proposed auction system will not provide enough stable support to meet the biogas goals projected in the national plan. See graph below.  See comments of the Polish Biogas Association on the July 2014 draft.The additional biogas energy hoped for 2030 will also be problematic. 

      The initial solution in the July 2014 draft was to use a small auction for projects under 1 MW. The problem is that most agricultural biogas plants in Poland and biogas plants that are necessary to handle organic waste under other EU rules are normally over 1 MW to be economically efficient. The auction itself also poses real problems for biogas projects, which have never been effectively supported by this mechanism. See Del Rio (2013); ECOP FYS (2014).
     The new proposal to have a separate auction for agricultural biogas is an improvement. But this option will face major legal challenge since it discriminates among other forms of biogas without a fa…

Waste Producers Seminar- Update on European Developments

I am happy to invite any companies to one of two events that CHWMEG is hosted on December 1st (Dublin) and then on December 4th (Warsaw). CHWMEG is the largest waste stewardship organization in the world with 250 members and over 600 affiliated companies. We focus of waste producers, i.e. manufacturers in pharmaceuticals, chemicals, petroleum, aircraft, electronics, automotive, etc. 

The seminar focuses on recent changes in European regulations, case studies, enforcement and litigation. All issues directly related to producers of industrial waste.

 These sessions will both be one-day in length and will offer updates on new regulations and legal developments in the EU. The Warsaw seminar will focus on the “newer” Member States in the East.  You will also have an opportunity to ask questions of a first-rate panel of experts, since we have built a good deal of discussion time into the schedules.

Please consider yourself invited to register and attend any of these sessions!  Please feel free…

Delay in Final Approval of the RES Law in Poland: Impossible to Conduct Auction in 2016

Increasingly it appears that the new law on renewable energy will not be in effect until substantially later than the latest government prediction. This is no surprise, since the government has been promising a new law within six months for the last two years. 
Final approval by both houses of Parliament will go over into 2015, an election year, which will make final consensus difficult. The final figures for renewable energy production and investment for 2014 will reflect the uncertainty and doubts in the market. Perhaps the fact that investors are lined up to invest in Poland in this sector (perhaps as in no other sector) and are only blocked by the government, will leak into the elections themselves. The fact that electricity bills for everyone are higher than legally permitted by the inclusion of subsidies for co-firing and old hydro would seem to be a political liability. Much of this support does nothing to help compliance with the 2020 target, since it is either superfluous or…

United States-China Deal on Carbon Reduction is a Scam

This is a classic case of political leaders in need of a headline and not a real agreement. The details are discussed in Mr. Krauthammer's excellent article, linked here.

If you believe in the climate alarmism, then this is not a real deal. If you are like me and hope that at least carbon is a good surrogate for really harmful pollutants, then it is still a bad deal.


The first really good news for Polish biogas in a while happened yesterday.

The Parliamentary subcommittee has revised the draft law on renewable energy to provide for separate auctions for biogas. This will mean that biogas projects up to 1 MW will only compete with other biogas projects for support. The big issue will be how big the bundle is for biogas in the auctions. The 2030 energy plan is showing a doubling of biogas from the 2020 target to the level in 2030 in Poland. This is very optimistic given the past experience. 

We are working on the 1 MW limit in Brussels. It is quite arbitrary and anti-competitive, although it ironically was suggested by the DG Competition. A practical ceiling based on the market and the objectives of other European legislation (the Landfill Directive, the Revised Waste Framework Directive, etc.) would be 2-5 MW. Above this level would trigger competition with other RES technologies that have lower costs per kWhr. So the cap is the de facto limit on the…

Energy Storage Growing and Becoming Cheaper

A new report noted that lithium-ion battery prices continue to fall and that U.S. growth in total energy storage is expected to increase by tenfold by 2018.


So far, Poland has not benefited from these trends. The deployment of energy storage on an individual and even grid-scale could provide huge savings to Poles, currently locked into providing peak electricity demand from coal-fired power plants.

In Poland where electricity prices are higher than the US. the incremental benefit of storage would actually be greater.

RES Auctions in Poland?

An expert at the International Renewable Energy Agency, recently wrote:

"Regulatory stability, transparency and the investors’ perception about the fairness of the process are pre-conditions for the success of an auction."

It remains hard to see how Poland will meet any of those criteria on its present trajectory.