Capacity market bill passed through Sejm
The lower chamber of Polish parliament has recently passed a bill which is of significant importance to the energy industry in the country and will shape the condition of the sector for the years to come. Lawmakers decided to introduce a capacity market to secure future deliveries of electric energy to private and business consumers. Power enterprises will receive payments for maintaining back-up capacity as well as providing electric energy. This is to ensure stable electric power supply at all times.
The payments will be made by all energy consumers, including both Polish enterprises and individual clients consuming electric energy. Even though during the discussion over the bill government officials tried to convince everyone the amounts consumers will be forced to pay will be very insignificant, the opposition argued they will be a big blow to Polish families. The capacity fees will be added to electricity bills from 2021. Their amount will depend on the number of electrical meters a person or business has.
The Ministry of Energy stressed that it was very important to pass the bill. Grzegorz Tobiszowski, Deputy Minister of Energy, foresees “no electricity in sockets in two years’ time” provided the new regulations are not introduced. Lawmakers assume the new income will cause energy companies to invest in new power plants or modernise the existing ones. Today, investment plans are hindered by low energy prices. Critics of the new regulations fear power companies will be inclined to invest in coal-based energy instead of more environmentally-friendly solutions.
The new legal provisions, if they are approved by the Parliament and the President, will need to be accepted by the European Commission as the new law may be considered state aid that disturbs the free market. It should be noted that capacity market already exists in the United Kingdom, where it was introduced three years ago.
The bill will now be moved to the Senate.