In 2005 Polish Energy Law Act was amended in order to implement decisions of EU Directive 2001/77/EC. Quota system obligation for electricity derived from renewable energy sources was introduced in the form of a "Green Certificate" system which entered into force on 1st of October 2005. Energy companies selling electricity to end-users are obliged to obtain and submit to the President of the Energy Regulatory Office (ERO) certificate of origin of their product – Green Certificate.
The Decree of 14th August 2008 provides details on the renewable energy quota obligation and certificates system, outlining how the scheme will be implemented. It specifies that all technologies are eligible under the scheme, with some conditions for biomass co-firing (a specified percentage of biomass must be used for facilities over 5MW) and origin of biomass (for facilities over 20MW).
All energy companies that sell electricity to final consumers and are connected to the Polish grid must comply with the quota requirements. The Decree establishes the quota amounts to be met, expressed as a percentage of the amount of energy sold by the company. The quota amount can be met using any technology or combination of technologies. These quotas are:
- 7.0% in 2008;
- 8.7% in 2009;
- 10.4% from 2010-12;
- 10.9% in 2013;
- 11.4% in 2014;
- 11.9% in 2015;
- 12.4% in 2016;
- 12.9% in 2017;
Obligations are met using the certificates of origin, which prices are determined by the market. Certificates can be traded on the Polish Power Stock Exchange. Failure to obtain and present to the authorities of the green certificates results in paying a substitution fee that is set annually by ERO and is tied to an average price for electricity generated from coal in Poland. Failure to pay the fee results in further financial penalties. The Decree specifies that the costs of purchasing of the certificates or paying the fee can be passed on in the electricity price charged, though the Decree limits this amount.