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Solar thermal energy in Poland


According to the Directive 2009/28/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources the target for the share of energy from renewable sources in gross final consumption of energy in the year 2020 for Poland is 15% (in the year 2005 the share was 7.2%).

Renewable heat: solar thermal

The sales of solar collectors in Poland in 2012 amounted to more than 302 thousand m2, which represents a sales increase of about 19% compared to the previous year (254 thousand m2). The majority, about 70% of the solar panels sold on the Polish market are flat plate collectors, whose production is dominated by domestic manufacturers of solar systems. The Polish market is around 70 companies of manufacturers, distributors of solar panels. The first "ten" companies represent more than 90% of the market.

The total area of ​​solar collectors installed at the end of 2012 amounted to about 1,211 million m2, which is equivalent to 848 MWth capacity. In terms of installed capacity of solar collectors are the second best after wind energy renewable energy sources in Poland. The annual turnover in the domestic market (excluding exports) in 2013 amounted to over 670 million PLN (160 MEUR). The number of sold and installed in the Polish solar is impressive, not only in relation to previous years, but also in relation to the pre already estimated sales last year in the EU. In 2012, the Polish exported about 62 thousand. m2.



Cumulated in 2011

*Installed in 2012

*Decommissioned in 2012

*Cumulated in 2012

Individual (glazed)





Collective (glazed)





Total (glazed)





Pools (unglazed)





TOTAL (glazed+unglazed)






Excellent support from the state's most well-known example of the EU grant program for renewable energy micro installations, which is a program of the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management, the program will support the purchase of solar installations. Since its launch in August 2010 and the end of 2012, it supported  34.2 thousand prosumers spending for this purpose 228  million PLN  (60 M EUR) grants. The implementation of the program indicates a continued interest and growing, even in the winter months, the number of applications. Initially amounts dedicated for this fund were 300 million zł, but as a result of increasing interest and good reviews from the direct beneficiaries and the general industry organizations (such as the Union of Employers Forum for Renewable Energy) the program increased its budget to 450 million PLN Last year the share of sales of solar NFOŚiGW subsidy amounted to over 45% in relation to all systems sold on the Polish market.


The programme statistic shows how many systems were installed by either single-family home owners or owners of flats in multi-family buildings.


Applications from
home owners

Applications from
owners of a flat in


Number of applications




Total number of collector
area from these




Average solar thermal
system size [m2]

3 m2

52 m2

6 m2


On 1 March 2013, the Polish National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management (NFOŚiGW) announced a new programme called KAWKA to reduce the air pollution in cities. KAWKA, which roughly translates as “Removal of low-efficient energy sources supporting the growth and deployment of decentralised renewable energy sources”, has a budget of Polish Zloty (PLN) 800 million (EUR 200 million) and will support a wide range of technologies, such as solar thermal, heat pumps, biogas and combined heating and power plants, until the end of 2013. Eligible applicants are municipalities of towns with more than 10,000 inhabitants, in which the massive use of fossil fuels - especially coal – for space heating has produced high dust pollution levels. KAWKA’s budget is almost double the size of NFOŚiGW’s residential solar thermal subsidy scheme, which is thought to support new systems with PLN 450 million (EUR 112 million) over a four-year period between 2010 and 2014. By the end of January 2013, NFOŚiGW had spent 52% (PLN 236 million) of the budget and was planning to allocate another PLN 125 million this year. So far, this residential programme has subsidised 241,000 m2 of collector area.

Some municipalities also realize their own support programmes e.g. PONE in some 30 municipalities in the South of Poland is supported form the Regional Funds for Environmental Protection and Water management (70% of the qualified costs) – some 3,200 projects have been supported. The last type of support actually mobilizes investments in solar thermal collectors in Poland. some of the municipalities negotiated with the NFOSiGW to reach special conditions for their customers. Szczawnica city for example. They want to offer a grant from NFOSiGW to the private users which will cover almost 50 % of the total investment costs. Together with a low interest credit supported from the municipal budget the town in the south of Poland would like to install 3,600 m2. If this pilot project is successful, other cities and municipalities will use the same opportunity, and this might substantially improve the market development of domestic solar water heating systems. Some of the 16 independent WFOSiGW (Regional Funds For Environmental Protection and Water Management) are developing new support schemes for private investors.


In Poland 177 different types of collectors are produced by 32 companies, the foreign producers offer 181 types of collectors. Recently the number of air collectors dropped due to growing mistrust in the Chinese technology. Although solar water heaters are not an unusual sight on Polish roofs, the huge potential of solar energy has hardly been tapped. Flat plate collectors – mostly with harp type absorbers – are the most common type of collectors in Poland, making up about three quarters of the market.


Installations for hot water preparation take up 90% of the market, space heating 3% and heating of polls 6% and 1% for industrial purposes. The post popular are flat type collectors (67% of all), of the 2 m2. Only 40% of collectors are certified. The installation of standalone solar panels does not require obtaining a building permit or submitting a notification to the responsible authority. Thermo-modernisation is currently one of the basic tools ensuring the reduction of the energy used. It should be followed by the increase inclusion of solar energy (panels installed usually on the roofs of the buildings).

Future programme changes expected

The further development of solar collectors in Poland has been envisaged in the NREAP, which assumes further dynamic development of this sector. The assumed demand for solar collectors in 2020 is 506 ktoe in 2020, which presumably will place Poland on the fifth position in the European ranking after Germany, Italy, France and Spain. According to the country's National Renewable Energy Action Plan, Poland has one of the EU's most ambitious targets for its national solar thermal market. It has agreed to substitute 7.5 % of overall fuel consumptions by renewable energies by 2010, 15 % by 2020 and 20 % by 2030

The Polish solar thermal market is growing rapidly and so are the national collector manufacturers. “This year we will produce 66 % more vacuum tube collectors than last year and this is due to an increasing demand for our products in Poland”, says export manager Jacek Paluch of Watt Ltd. Altogether ― vacuum tubes and flat-plate collectors ― the company plans to manufacturer 43,000 m2 (30 MWth) this year instead of 30,000 m2 (21 MWth) last year. In April 2012 the company opened a new factory with a total area of 3,500 m2. The competitor Sunex Sp. z.o.o. is also very pleased with the market development. They want to more than double their production output of flat-plate collectors, and also start assembling vacuum tube collectors.

Polish tank manufacturer Galmet is about to diversify its business by launching a collector production facility in Glubczyce in the south-western province of Opolskie. Galmet is planning to produce two sizes of panels there: one with 1.6 m˛ and another with 2m˛. In September 2012, the company announced that the new factory should produce roughly 4,000 collectors per year.


Institute for Renewable Energy


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Last update: April 2013