Poland is set to increase investment and capacity in solar power thanks to incentives for small electricity consumers to buy solar panels. The country currently has 300 MW of solar capacity installed and the government expects this to increase by 200 MW annually.
The announcement was made by Poland’s entrepreneurship and technology minister Jadwiga Emilewicz, a supporter of renewable energy at odds with a government that has promised to support Poland’s coal industry.
Emilewicz told Reuters: “It is highly probable that by 2020 and beyond, energy prices will not go down and other solutions than ad hoc cuts need to be sought because the spectrum of available instruments is limited.
“We expect that solar panels with a total capacity of 200 MW will be installed in 2019, thanks to the programme. We want around 200 MW in solar panels per year to be added in coming years.”
The Law and Justice Party of Poland supported coal production when it was elected in 2015 and made it difficult to invest in renewable energy, but eased restrictions on renewables last year due to European Union (EU) energy targets in 2020.
Coal currently makes up about 80% of Poland’s energy generation and is expected to fall to 50% by 2040. According to a recent report by European statistical agency Eurostat, renewables made up 10.9% of Poland’s energy mix in 2017, a figure that needs to increase to 15% by 2020 to comply with EU targets.