The European Commission has approved a PLN40bn ($11bn) Polish government’s support program for the renewable energy sector.

The regulator found that the Polish government’s renewable energy scheme and its reduced rates to finance the scheme for energy-intensive users, are in line with the European Union (EU) State aid rules.

European Commissioner for competition policy Margrethe Vestager said: "We want to make progress towards green energy for the sake of our environment but also for European economic growth.

“The Polish support scheme will increase the share of green energy in Poland's energy mix and help the country's energy transition. It will also preserve the global competitiveness of companies that are heavily energy dependent."

Renewable energy producers, the beneficiaries of the scheme, will be selected by the government through competitive auctions.

The first two rounds of auctions have already completed, with additional auctions planned to be held until 30 June 2021.

As per the scheme, small energy installations with a capacity up to 500kW would benefit from a feed-in tariff.

However, the scheme will provide premium on top of the market price of electricity to the energy installations with capacity more than 500kW.

The commission said: “This premium is meant to help these facilities to compensate for costs that cannot be recovered from selling electricity in the market, and so obtain a reasonable return on investment.”

Financed by a surcharge levied on electricity consumers, the scheme is expected to help the country meet its 2020 environmental and climate change goals.

An evaluation is planned to assess the impact of the scheme, with the results planned to be submitted to the Commission by December 2020.

Image: The Polish government intends to support its renewable energy sector. Photo: courtesy of franky242/