According to a recent nationwide survey in Poland, respondents indicated overwhelming support for rooftop solar in general, as well as mandatory installation of rooftop solar on new buildings. The Polish energy sector has undergone a significant transformation recently, with a target set for 15% of all energy consumed to come from renewable energy by the end of 2020. In particular, solar energy costs have decreased by nearly 80% in the past decade.
The survey, conducted by INDICATOR, a marketing research centre, in collaboration with the Polish Photovoltaics Association, on a representative group of 1,000 adults from across the country, aimed at assessing the level of support for various types of energy sources. Over 60% of respondents supported the development of renewable energy and indicated that renewable energy should be supported by the Polish government. Again, 60% responded that renewables are a cheap source of energy, 65% responded that renewables would generate new jobs, while 70% responded that they could help increase energy security, and 80% responded that renewables are the best manner of combating climate change.
Among the different renewable energy sources, solar emerged as the most popular, with wind in second place, and gas in third. Coal and nuclear were the lowest rated power sources.
In 2019, Poland broke records for increasing the capacity of small PV installations – the number of prosumers at the end of last year (149,000) is now almost three times larger than in 2018. At the end of 2019, the capacity installed in PV sources was already over 900 MW. When asked if the installation of solar panels should be mandatory on the roofs of newly built buildings, 48% responded that this is a very good idea, and another 15% were in support, but believed that housing should be excluded from such an obligation.
The current Polish administration has shown support for the deployment of solar PV, which makes sense in the country due to high summer peaks in the energy system, which are the result of two factors: heat waves emerging more frequently with climate change, and increasing energy consumption by air conditioning. Repeated droughts caused a reduction of energy production in conventional power plants. Only sufficient solar power can prevent future blackout risk during summer load peaks. Government support for solar can be seen in it reducing VAT on panels, simplifying location procedures and facilitating the rules for issuing licenses for investments up to 1 MW; further it has recently considered extending the renewables auction system, planned for now until 2021. In 2020, the capacity of installed PV in Poland has exceeded 1.7 GW, and after building the winning projects from auctions it will reach over 2 GW. Solar’s increased momentum is due to the decreasing costs of the technology and the growth in popularity of rooftop installations.
Thanks to Dariusz Mańka, Representative of the Management Board from the Polish PV Association, for the information.
Graphs from INDICATOR/Polish PV Association | Photo from Shutterstock/zstock