GDF Suez warns Poland over plans to cut green energy support
WARSAW (Reuters) - GDF Suez would demand compensation from Poland if the country brings in a new renewables law cutting support for green energy, Chief Executive of GDF's Polish unit Grzegorz Gorski was quoted saying on Wednesday.
The French company is most concerned about plans to cut support for biomass co-firing, the largest source of renewable power in Poland's energy mix. This process involves mixing wood and other plant material with coal before it is burnt in power stations.
"The rules proposed for biomass co-firing, which is key for us, are significantly worse than those in the currently applicable energy law," Gorski was quoted as saying by business daily Puls Biznesu.
"(If the new law is enacted) we will go to arbitration and demand several hundred million zlotys from the state."
Poland, which generates 90 percent of its electricity from coal, is required by the European Union to reduce carbon emissions and to generate at least 15 percent of its power from renewables.
In July, Poland's economy ministry proposed a draft bill that reduced overall state support for renewable energy, favoring solar power and offshore wind over biomass co-firing and onshore wind.
The draft law has also drawn criticism from Poland's treasury ministry, which oversees state assets and controls the country's largest utilities, the wind power lobby and largest power producer PGE.
(Reporting by Maciej Onoszko. Editing by Jane Merriman)