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 size of biogas plants that can be supported in the EU.

Member States can submit a rationale to do things differently than the guidelines in this and other cases, but they will be put into line for Commission approval, while open auctions will be "fast tracked" with no individual review (in theory). The Polish Biogas Association has filed comments on this in Brussels and has been a leader in the EU of fixing these problems.

We still have not seen how the new draft treats substrates and other issues raised in the public comments.


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