Overall assessment

As of April 2023, 16 investment schemes proposed by Poland are confirmed, worth nearly EUR 5 billion, of which EUR 989.5 million has been already requested for disbursement, 13 calls for proposals have already been launched, with approximately 1500 applications submitted. While some programmes are welcome, like the support for heat pump installation or building renovation, a disproportionally large sum went to mostly state-owned energy companies instead of municipalities, SMEs or individuals. Three programmes support gas-powered Combined Heat and Power and one - waste incineration.

Detailed assessment

General: allocation, definition, transposition

Specific allocation for energy communities

EUR 209.9 million has been earmarked to increase the use of renewable energy sources in rural and rural-urban municipalities. Of this amount, EUR 20.99 million has currently been requested for disbursement. While this will benefit mostly farmers, energy cooperatives - new or existing ones - and their members will also be able to apply for support.

Definition of energy communities in line with EU legislation

Under the Polish Modernisation Fund energy communities, as eligible entities, are defined as per the Act on Renewable Energy Sources (2015), which after numerous amendments provides for a relatively
good definition of energy communities, aligned with EU Directives.

Proportionality of share of total fund allocated to energy communities

The Polish Modernisation Fund allocates a significant share to energy communities - over EUR 200 million.

Funding conditions include:

· co-financing in the form of a loan - loan amount up to PLN 25 million (=5.3 million EUR) per project.

· co-financing in the form of subsidies up to PLN 20 million (=4.2 million EUR) per project.

Eligible beneficiaries include emerging & established energy cooperatives, or their members, and farmers

Availability of tailored financing tools

Under the Polish Modernisation Fund, there are different financing tools available, including loans and subsidies. In the case of subsidies for photovoltaic installations or wind turbines, it is possible to apply for a loan of up to 100% of the eligible costs, and in the case of biogas plants and hydroelectric power plants, there is also the possibility of applying for a grant of up to 65% of the eligible costs.

Link to a wider scope of activities and objectives

Link between energy communities, building renovation and energy efficiency

There is no link between energy communities, building renovation and energy efficiency.

Recognition of energy communities under multiple objectives

Energy communities are recognised under multiple objectives. According to the information provided by the beneficiary Member State and pursuant to Article 10d(2) Directive 2003/87/EC, the investment is considered as a priority investment as it falls under the priority areas “generation and use of electricity from renewable sources” and ”energy storage”.

Transparency and inclusiveness

Holistic strategy to provide financing across different levels of project development

There is no holistic strategy in place to provide financing across different levels of project development (i.e., facilitating grid access, one stop shops, awareness raising & capacity building, pilot financing, administrative, business model and legal advice).

Transparency of the design and communication of the schemes and measures

The information available regarding potential financing opportunities through the Polish Modernisation Fund, is clear, but there are no opportunities for feedback & further changes at present. Public consultations were held.

Selection criteria and the prioritisation of various social components

Projects chosen for funding through the Polish Modernisation Fund, do not have to incorporate a social component under the eligibility criteria.

Decentralised tender process

The process of managing funds under the Polish Modernisation Fund occurs in a centralised manner.

Existence of procedures to facilitate the participation of energy communities in open calls

There were multiple communication occasions used to announce the available funding opportunities under the Polish Modernisation Fund.

Stability and predictability of the programme through time

The timeframe for available funding opportunities under the Polish Modernisation Fund, was properly described and announced.