The Polish National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management (Polish initialism: NFOSiGW) is planning to introduce a new grant scheme called Prosument, which will include solar thermal subsidies. This was confirmed by Aneta Wilmański, Deputy Minister of Environment, in an online article on Polish web page reo.pl on 20 June. The entire programme budget for 2014-16 amounts to Polish Zloty (PLN) 600 million. There has not yet been any official statement about which share of the budget will be spent on solar thermal applications.
Prosument, in NFOSIGW's intention, is to fill the gap between the current solar thermal grant scheme, which is expected to run out of money in 2014, and the new EU funds, which will effectively reach Poland not earlier than 2016. NFOŚiGW’s solar grant programme with a budget of PLN 450 million has already spent PLN 252 million (52 %) on investment grants supporting the installation of around 250,000 m2 of collector area since 2010. The programme is scheduled to issue grants worth PLN 124 million this year, PLN 84 million in 2014 and PLN 15 million in 2015, but NFOŚiGW is already considering the accelerating pace at which the money is spent. According to Grzegorz Wiśniewski, the President of the Institute for Renewable Energy and also President of the Polish Association of Renewable Energy Employers (Polish initialism ZP FEO), the solar thermal programme will run out of money in early 2014. “Currently, ZP FEO is in negotiations with the NFOŚiGW as the administrator of Prosument,” explains Wisniewski: “We have proposed to allocate PLN 150 million, which means 25 % of the total budget of PLN 600 million, to solar thermal.”
The effect of the 150 million budget may be bigger than the one of the current programme, assumes a solar thermal expert who does not want to be identified. Prosument will probably lower the level of subsidies to be able to subsidise more solar collectors. The current programme's performance equals 6.7 m2 per approved grant. It, however, is too early to tell what effect the new requirements will have on the number of applications and the average surface area per submitted application, since it has not been clear yet by how much the subsidies will be reduced.
This news was written by Marcin Czekanski, a Polish journalist specialised in renewable energies and based in Szczecin, Poland. (firstname.lastname@example.org).