Showing posts from June, 2014

Basic Orientation on Energy Storage

This youtube video brings it all together. I expect to be in this market in Poland in 90-120 days. I hope to form the Polish Energy Storage Association at the same time.  Interested parties should contact me!  randymott (at) Note: I am still in the biogas business and environmental consulting business.

EU notification or not? Political Repercussions Inevitable

The Ministry for Infrastructure is raising issues about the announced intention of the Polish Government not to notify Brussels on the new law. [They never notified on the existing law and are in an enforcement case with the Commission on the subject]. The Ministry's point is not one of mine and may even be a "stalking horse" for the real arguments which are harder to admit (i.e. the auction is not technologically neutral, the procedure is not transparent, Green Certificates are still used without necessary Commission approval, and the whole exemption relied upon is not even finalized yet). Failure to notify will lead to a Commission complaint and the review will be done by Brussels whether the Polish Government seeks it or not. The ruling coalition seems to be convinced that it is somehow served by delaying the inevitable smack down. My own educated guess is that the smack down will occur in time to be an issue in the elections next year, so their timing is totally

The Small RES Auction: Where will the Competition Come from?

The draft RES law in Poland provides for an auction for electricity support for green energy beginning sometime in 2017. There is a faint hope that this will be 2016 if the Government is successful in bypassing the EU notification process (an unlikely contingency). When the auction day does arrive, if at all, the small auction for under one MW projects will have a result completely at odds with the announced objectives of the Government. If and when the day comes, the Government will reserve 25% of the auction for small producers, i.e. under 1 MW. While I have objected to the 1 MW and to the requirement that an auction be used, it is interesting to speculate on the effects of this proposal if it is realized. Pre-qualification of bids will be required, which will include the need to have planning permission, environmental approval, gird connection conditions and a building permit for your project. A deposit with the bid and penalties for failure to build the project if your bid is

Time to Invest in Renewables in Poland

As the situation is developing in the Polish RES market, everyone with a viable project is rushing to build it. Construction in the next 18-24 months, means that a project can opt for the auction or Green Certificates (which ever appears more advantageous. While uncertainties are keeping the biggest and most conservative investors and banks on the sidelines, the most entrepreneurial folks are jumping in. Smart investors know that the certificate values will go up dramatically due to the European Commission future actions. The small developers will have big problems with an auction system, but well-funded developers will win support and the small auction (now under 1 MW) will create a situation of limited competition. I have argued without a break that the auction mechanism is bad for small projects. Over 90% of the Polish biogas developers are small investors, often only doing one or two projects. Biogas has difficulties in the auction experiences from other countries. I will conti

Time for Conference on State Aid and Renewable Energy?

I have organized a panel of legal experts to discuss the issue surrounding state aid to renewable energy and the new Guidelines. Unfortunately, we have been unable to obtain any sponsors. As readers know from my posts and articles, this issue is huge and will decide the future of renewable energy in Poland. I think we urgently need a dialogue on the issues and solutions. Now that there is a more public discussion of the issues, including UKOK's correspondence, maybe the situation has changed? It is impossible to discuss the future of the RES bill without taking this issue into account. Some of us think that it has already been one of the major factors in the delays and decisions made by the Polish Government. Any companies or organizations that would like to be sponsors for a conference with the leading legal experts in Europe on the subject should contact me. randymott  @


     To anyone who has even a casual acquaintance with gambling, “doubling down” is a well-known and often dangerous strategy. The Oxford Dictionary defines it as to “ strengthen one’s commitment to a particular strategy or course of action, typically one that is potentially risky.”  Doubling down or increasing your bet when you know that your cards are losers probably goes by a more generic name, say “stupidity.” Operating since 2005 under a renewable energy support system that is unquestionably state aid, while ignoring the obligation to notify and obtain approval in Brussels under its treaty obligations, the Polish Government now seems poised to plunge ahead with more aid and no more notification. The Green Certificate program is totally intertwined with the new program since it can still be opted into by existing RES producers and since the reference price in the auction for existing sources is pegged to its value. Nor does the form of auction proposed by the Government

Thanks to my Readers!

Thanks to all to stop by and read my blog! I hope that you will start posting comments. Let me know what you think and how my posts can provide you the information, links, and analysis that you would like to see to the future.

Avoiding Notifying Brussels: Don't Count on it!

I will have a detailed analysis this week of the changes in the new RES law and how they affect (do not affect) the need to have Brussels approve of the law. The central fact to remember as I argued last week is that the Green Certificates are state aid and have never been notified or approved. Doing so is critical to their long-term viability. Existing plants can still opt to continue Green Certificates, so they remain part of the support scheme and cannot be indefinitely run as illegal aid. More later, including an analysis of other parts of the proposal law against the new Guidelines and EU rules on competition....... UPDATE:  I am waiting for a translation of the UKOK letter that defends the lack of a need to notify. I can tell immediately from the references that they make that they have grossly misread the law. The substitution fees that go to NFOSGW have always been held to be state aid, even in the decisions that they cite. UPDATE: They conclude that green certificates