Is the Belarus Solar PV Market Ready to Take Off?
/14th September 2016, RENEWABLE MARKET WATCHTM/ The main priority of energy policy and strategy of Belarus according to Belarus Photovoltaic Market: Outlook 2016 ÷ 2025 released by the RENEWABLE MARKET WATCHTM, is to reduce dependence on energy imports and to improve the financial stability of the sector. For this reason, renewable energy and energy efficiency have been selected as priority sectors to implement the well balanced sustainable energy policy of the country. On 1st March 2016, the government approved the “Comprehensive Development Plan for the Electricity Sector to 2025 and Beyond”, allowing the necessary changes in the regulatory and technical framework. The plan also includes allowances for network rehabilitation and development, as well as tariff subsidy phase-out. On 6th April 2016, a new “Energy Efficiency and Energy Savings Plan for 2016-2020” came into force.
Electricity sector structure in Belarus
Belarus's electricity sector is a fully bundled (vertically and horizontally) monopoly, with the state company Belenergo controlling high and low voltage networks, about 95% of all generation capacity, all distribution and supply. Formally the competition legislation allows third party access to the network. The Law on RES determines that the state utility has to connect and off-take the power generated by RES installation. The network access in practice and any authorization for generation facilities to be constructed outside Belenergo, is, however, subject to a non-transparent process of ad hoc decision-making. There are no technical network codes. The recovery of costs incurred by the network operator in connecting RES facilities is not assured in the current tariff regulation methodology.
Renewable Energy Policy of Belarus
On 18th May 2015, the President of the Republic of Belarus signed a Decree No. 209 “Concerning the use of renewable energy” (Decree), which had been actively discussed by Belarus business community for more than 3 years. The Decree, officially published on 20 May 2015, made significant amendments to the regulation of “green” energy in Belarus. Key amendments concern quotas implementation and establish new rules of tariff determination for renewable energy. Read more for the details of the new Decree. Issues related to keeping the State Cadastre of Renewable Energy Sources are regulated by the Regulation of the Council of Ministers of 24th June 2011 No. 836, and the Regulation of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection of 29th August 2011 No. 29. Also, the Regulation of the Council of Ministers No. 836 establishes the procedure for confirming the origin of RES's energy.
Feed-in tariffs for solar PV in Belarus
In Belarus, electricity from renewable sources is promoted mainly through so-called tariffs based on ‘increase coefficients’. This is a type of FIT, the level of which is set as a multiple of the price for electricity paid by one particular customer category (namely industrial customers above 750kVA). The ‘increase coefficient’ is set by Resolution of the Council of Ministers and is intended to stay in place for a longer timeframe. However, the price paid by industrial customers above 750 kVA may change annually or even more frequently. Therefore, while the coefficient is reasonably fixed, the actual FIT is not. The coefficient varies
1) By technology (wind, hydropower, wood and other biomass, biogas, and geothermal are in one group and solar PV in another group)
2) By timeframe (first 10 years, next 10 years respectively)
The coefficient is undifferentiated according to the size of the installation. Eligibility for receiving the FIT is reserved to RES electricity generators that are not within the management of the national utility Belenergo. Feed-in tariff for solar PV power plants in Belarus is 0.36 USD/kWh for the first 10 years of operation and 0.11 USD/kWh for the next 10 years of operation. The feed-in tariffs are paid for 20 years term.
The FIT must be paid by the respective distribution system operator (DSO) for all electricity fed into the grid network from renewable power plants that have obtained a so-called Guarantee of Origin (GO) from the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources. Unlike the GO used in the EU, the Belarus GO is issued for the RES facility and not the produced energy. It is the basis for energy purchase contracts and eligibility for the FIT, but the amount of energy to be remunerated is not stated on the GO.
Market development forecast
The solar PV market in Belarus is in the early development phase. Installed photovoltaic power capacity in the country started to grow since 2014 and will quickly increase in respect to the planned and under-construction projects.
For more information about this promising solar market, please visit:
Belarus Photovoltaic (Solar PV) Market: Outlook 2016÷2025