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The Warsaw Voice » Other » September 3, 2008
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Polish "Green Certificates"
September 3, 2008   
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Increased production of energy from renewable sources is a priority of the European Union's energy policy. Under Directive 2001/77/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council, "green energy" should account for 12 percent of total electricity consumption in EU member states by 2010, and for 22.1 percent by 2020.

Poland has introduced "certificates of origin" as one of the instruments designed to make it easier to achieve the targets set by the directive. A certificate of origin certifies that the electricity has been produced from a renewable source, which means water power, solar power, wind power, biomass and so on.

Under amendments to the Polish energy law (Dziennik Ustaw journal of laws 05.62.552), companies dealing with the generation, supply and sale of electricity in Poland are required to obtain "certificates of origin" and submit them to the president of the Energy Regulatory Office. The purpose of certificates of origin is to specify and check the sources of the electricity produced. These certificates should be mutually recognized by member states. As a result, it is important that all member states adopt objective and transparent criteria in issuing such certificates.

One important issue concerning certificates of origin involves the property rights that are related to them. These rights are negotiable and can be traded on the Polish Power Exchange. The property rights can be transferred when a related entry is made in the register of certificates of origin (Green Certificate Register). In Poland, the Polish Power Exchange is the institution responsible for organizing trading in property rights arising from certificates of origin. One of the main tasks of the Polish Power Exchange is to identify organizations that have property rights arising from certificates of origin and to make sure that the amount of electricity covered by the registered certificates of origin corresponds with the amount of electricity covered by the property rights arising from the certificates.

Under the law currently in force, the sale of property rights arising from certificates of origin may only occur between companies generating electricity in Poland. But there are plans for these rights to be traded on the internal EU market and international markets. It is in Poland's interest to create an efficient and transparent system of certificates of origin, a system that would strengthen the country's position as one of the main actors in international green energy trading.

Małgorzata Stańczyk, lawyer, Lengiewicz Wrońska Berezowska i Wspólnicy Kancelaria Prawnicza, law firm
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