Yesterday evening, during the plenary session of the Senate, the proceedings concerning the amendment to the act on renewable energy sources began, which is to introduce a prosumer billing system in the form of net-billing. This morning, members of the joint Senate committees voted against the bill backed by the government, which makes it possible to reject the entire bill at the plenary session of the Senate.
As Stanisław Gawłowski, chairman of the Senate climate committee, argued during yesterday’s plenary session, the implementation of the law with solutions adopted by the Sejm and supported by the government will block the development of prosumer energy, significantly extending the period of return on investment in a home photovoltaic installation – from a few to over a dozen years.
Senators of the Civic Coalition submitted their draft amendment to the RES Act containing alternative rules for prosumers’ settlements, which are to maintain the attractiveness of investments in home photovoltaics, at the same time rewarding prosumers equipped with home energy storage. More about this project: Elektroprosumer in place of a prosumer. New billing proposals.
Senator Gawłowski motioned for the rejection of the amendment to the RES Act adopted by the Sejm, containing a change in the prosumer model towards a system of selling surplus energy at the wholesale market price, settled under the so-called net-billing.
According to the amendment to the RES Act, which was adopted last month by MPs and which is now being dealt with by the Senate, the new billing system would enter into force at the beginning of the second quarter of 2022, while the existing discount system could still be used by prosumers who by the end of the in the first quarter, they will submit an application for connecting a micro-installation.
Ireneusz Zyska, the deputy minister of climate and the government plenipotentiary for renewable energy, representing the government, called the project submitted by senators of the KO “harmful and irresponsible “ and recommended its rejection.
Deputy Minister of Climate, defending in the Senate the net-billing system included in the bill previously adopted by the Sejm, assured that the current discount system was “The best in Europe, and perhaps in the world”. The governmental plenipotentiary for RES assured at the same time that this system did “He has exhausted his technical capabilities”And its continuation may soon block the possibility of connecting other prosumers to the network.
– It is a mistake to say that it is only 1 percent. domestic electricity production, because the systemic impact on low and medium voltage flows is so significant that they affect the security of the national energy system – Ireneusz Zyska said in the Senate.
– This act is for the benefit of prosumers and all market participants. It is not aimed at harming someone. It has been prepared so that prosumers can develop in the long term, so that we do not block the connection capacity in the next few, at most a dozen or so months – assured Zyska.
The deputy minister of climate also pointed to the distribution costs from which prosumers are exempt, which is to burden other energy recipients.
– Prosumers do not pay variable distribution fees at all, and all end-users pay these fees. Why does the group of very privileged energy recipients have good investment conditions, the possibility of deducting tax relief, and do not pay variable distribution fees? It is as much as 40 percent. electricity prices – assessed Ireneusz Zyska.
– According to the market directive, which we are obliged to implement, the energy produced and fed into the grid and the energy consumed will be separated. Then the prosumer will be accounted for net-billing of the value of the surplus energy introduced into the grid, but he will pay for energy like any other energy consumer in Poland. It’s fair and just – a government representative assured.
Opposition senators responded to the arguments of Deputy Minister Zyska. Senator Krzysztof Kwiatkowski pointed out to the government the lack of previous announcements about the possibility of changing the discount system in the event of achieving a certain potential of prosumer energy.
– Citizens have the right to be afraid of changes going as far as the ones you propose. 700 thousand used the model that you proposed and no one has told anyone before that there are such possibilities and that 700 or 800 thousand prosumers, maybe up to a million, this system is able to absorb on the current terms – said senator Krzysztof Kwiatkowski.
– Until now, this system was used mainly by the richer, and now the less richer were to enter it – also due to the increase in energy prices or the decrease in installation costs. Whether we like it or not, the richer ones took advantage of this system, and now, when new ones enter, we tell them: we are changing the rules of the game. This is a disastrous situation because it undermines the citizens’ trust in the state. Why didn’t you say when introducing that system: attention, this system has a certain capacity, we will have to change it – said Senator Kwiatkowski.
– We all want the laws and rules imposed by the state to be stable rules. Today the truth is, obviously respecting the arguments related to the development of the grid, the transmission system, and building a long-term system, that someone should say in the end: sorry that we did not say at the beginning that these regulations can only apply for a certain period of time. A state that wants to treat a citizen fairly does not approach him this way – added Krzysztof Kwiatkowski.
Voting on the amendment to the RES Act passed by the Sejm, possibly together with the proposed amendments – including an amendment extending the time for beneficiaries of EU subsidies from the so-called umbrella projects – to be held along with the rest of the votes at the end of the Senate meeting.
This morning senators attending the joint committee meeting National Economy and Innovation, the Commission Extraordinary for Climate and The Environment Committee voted against the amendment to the RES Act adopted by the Sejm. 23 senators were against the bill, and 14 voted “for”. Nobody abstained.
If the effect of voting at the plenary session is similar, then the Senate’s resolution against the new provisions for prosumers will go to the Sejm and then an absolute majority of the votes of the deputies will be needed to defend them.
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