CEZ Endures Polish Wind Power-Price Slump, Rule Change, GDF Halt

CEZ AS is sticking with its plans to build Polish wind farms after the nation proposed to cut support and the value of certificates awarded for generation collapsed.

“We are maintaining our planned investments, counting on a fast adoption of a new renewable-energy law,” Witold Pawlowski, the general director of Warsaw-based unit CEZ Trade Polska, said in an interview. “Energy investments require long-term regulation stability and a predictable market model.”

So-called green certs declined to 100.48 zloty ($32.30) a megawatt-hour Feb. 14, the lowest since trading began in 2006, Polish power exchange figures on Bloomberg show. They slid 28 percent last month, adding to a 36 percent drop in 2012, as the award of certificates for renewables generation outpaced demand from power suppliers, who use them to meet green energy quotas.

“Depressed prices of green certificates and a discrepancy between their supply and demand are among the main barriers to developing renewable energy projects in Poland,” Pawlowski said at the Polish unit of the Czech Republic’s largest utility.

Wind capacity grew 55 percent last year to 2.5 gigawatts and biomass doubled, according to the energy market regulator. In contrast, the state-set renewable-power target hasn’t changed for the past three years, creating a surplus of certificates equivalent to 3.87 terawatt-hours, the Economy Ministry says.

CEZ plans 760 megawatts of wind farms in Poland, with 167.5 megawatts built by next year, Pawlowski said. That’s after GDF Suez halted work on 105 megawatts of projects until a “stable and investment-friendly” law was passed, according to Grzegorz Gorski, head of Polish operations, cited by the wnp.pl portal.

Reducing Clarity

Government delays in approving changes to its regime for spurring green power also reduced clarity for the industry.

Economy Minister Janusz Piechocinski said on Feb. 11 the cabinet would by the end of March approve draft proposals to reduce support for renewables technology including wind power first announced in 2011. It will then send them to parliament. So far three drafts for the changes have been presented.

“Maybe support for renewable energy should be set by the regulator in the form of a feed-in tariff as the current system doesn’t provide stability,” Pawlowski said.