Amendment to the RES Act as an opportunity for small and medium-sized companies

On 29 August 2019, an amendment to the Renewable Energy Sources Act came into force, which expands the definition of prosumer to include the small and medium-sized business sector.

According to the new statutory definition, a prosumer is an end user who generates electricity exclusively from renewable energy sources for its own use in a micro-installation. In addition, the surplus generated may be stored or sold to a seller with obligation or to another seller, with the proviso that in the case of a prosumer who is not a household consumer of electricity, this does not constitute the subject of prevailing economic activity regulated by provisions issued pursuant to Article 40(2) of the Act on Public Statistics of 29 June 1995.

Thanks to the amendment to the RES Act, we can speak of the beginning of a dynamic development of the prosumer model of electricity production from renewable energy sources. The inclusion of small and medium-sized companies as prosumers may, according to the legislator, widen the circle of those interested in the production of green energy. Small and medium-sized enterprises will be able to generate energy which they will use for production or service activities, which may turn out to be a salvation in the face of soaring electricity prices.

The legislator forecasts that thanks to this amendment, still in 2019, there will be around 3000 micro-installations with a total capacity of 50-100 MW connected. In the following years, about 10,000 new micro-installations, with a total capacity of about 250 MW, are to be created annually.

The most important changes introduced or clarified in the amendment to the RES Act:

  1. The amount of electricity injected into the power grid in relation to the amount of energy taken from the grid by the prosumer will be settled in the ratio of 1 to 0.7, while for micro-installations with an installed capacity of up to 10 kW the settlement will be in the ratio of 1 to 0.8. The legislator justifies that the differentiation of the amount of the discount is dictated by the desire to maintain the proportion between the benefits borne by prosumers and sellers;
  1. It has been established that the surplus accumulated by a prosumer from a given settlement period will be transferred to subsequent periods. In this way it will not be possible to settle energy surpluses from the summer period in the winter period;
  1. The catalogue of elements included in the application for connection to the grid has been specified. The catalogue of elements to be included in the application for connection to the grid has been specified. Detailed provisions concerning this are to be promulgated in a regulation issued by the minister competent for energy in consultation with the minister competent for economy;
  1. With regard to the use of comprehensive agreements, some specific provisions have been added concerning the obligation to conclude agreements between distribution system operators and the energy seller chosen by the prosumer. These will enable energy settlements to be made under the discount.

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