On 18 April 2023, the Polish government approved the draft act amending the Energy Law, which includes changes to the regulation on electricity direct lines. The draft has come in the wake of market criticism that current regulations amount to regulatory barriers for the development of on-site electricity generation in Poland.
The draft amendment includes the following changes to direct line regulations:
- the definition of the direct line has been aligned with the Electricity Market Directive (EU Directive 2019/944), which means that the electricity line between the power producer and its own facilities will no longer be considered a direct line;
- the construction and operation of the direct line will require an entry to the direct line register, instead of a decision by the President of the Energy Regulatory Authority. The customer’s lack of access to the public grid will no longer be a pre-condition for obtaining regulatory approval for the direct line;
- there will be a simplified procedure for the entry to the direct line register in the case of customers not connected to public grid or for generating units of aggregate capacity not exceeding 2 MW;
- the off-takers of electricity supplied through the direct line will have the option to export the excess electricity to the grid, provided that they fulfil the technical conditions, enter into the required electricity sale and distribution agreements and obtain the required electricity trading licence;
- the off-takers of electricity supplied through the direct line will need to pay to the public grid operators: (i) a charge corresponding to a share of the DSO’s fixed costs for the transmission or distribution of electricity in the part not covered by the other components of the DSO’s tariff (i.e. solidarity charge); and (ii) a charge to cover the costs of maintaining systemic quality standards and the reliability of the current electricity supply. Both charges will depend on the volume of electricity supplied through the direct line.
If adopted, the proposed legislation is likely to enable certain on-site generation models. The actual feasibility of these models, however, will largely depend on the level of additional charges payable to the public grid operators. The charges will be determined in the grid operators’ tariffs in line with the principles set out in the tariff regulation.
The draft act still needs to be adopted by the parliament and then signed by the president.
For more information on this draft and Poland's energy sector, contact your CMS client partner or local CMS experts.