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Polish power sector in the future – how will tomorrow's Polish power look like?

Wyślij Print Pobierz added: | 2014-12-03 15:42:57
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Polish power sector in the future – how will tomorrow's Polish power look like?

In 15 years the Polish power sector will be less energy-consuming, though still based on coal. Intelligent power grids will be better developed, the importance of solar and wind energy will increase. At the same time, some citizens will become prosumers, i.e. producers and consumers of energy.

In 15 years the Polish power sector will be less energy-consuming, though still based on coal. Intelligent power grids will be better developed, the importance of solar and wind energy will increase. At the same time, some citizens will become prosumers, i.e. producers and consumers of energy.

What changes lie ahead of the Polish energy sector in the coming years? This was the question which the participants of the panel „Polish energy in Europe. Does the power sector need innovation?” tried to answer. The panel was held in the frame of the Economic Forum in the mountain resort of Krynica at the beginning of September.

EBRD's Grzegorz Zielinski believes that in the coming fifteen years Poland's power sector will still be dominated by coal, although not necessarily Polish coal.

„The [renewable energy] OZE sector will be perceived a bit differently: not as something new, which constitutes a threat. Instead, it will be a widely accepted and well-established power generation segment, he said”

According to professor Tadeusz Chmielniak from the power sector committee of the Polish Academy of Sciences, in this 15 year timeframe significant progress will be made in the field of  reducing energy consumption, both in terms of domestic appliances and in industry.

„As a result, progress in emission reduction will be made. I also agree that smart [power] grids will be better developed,” the expert said. Additionally, old coal-fuelled power blocks will likely be replaced by new ones, he noted.

Polish power sector to be more „green” and innovative

The basis for discussion during the panel was the report „Scenarios of technology development on the Polish power market by 2050,” published by power firm RWE The report analyzes trends which may be crucial for the development of the domestic electrical power engineering in the coming decades.

The authors of the report forecast that by 2050 coal will still be a significant source of electrical power production in Poland. At the same time, the importance of wind power and photovoltaics (solar energy) will increase. However, the transformation of power generation will not result in  price increases.

The document presents four possible scenarios of technology development which can shape the Polish power market. RWE analyses confirm that by 2050 Poland will be independent in terms of power production, and that big power plants will still play a vital role in the Polish energy mix. By 2030, new coal-fired power blocks of aggregate power of 3-11 MW will be built.

Although coal will still be important, it will not account for a vast majority of power generation anymore. New domestic energy sources, including wind, photovoltaics and natural gas (including gas from shale formations), will help maintain energy independence: as a result over 80% of electrical power will be produced from domestic fuels.

Thanks to that fact, Poland will be able to realize ambitious CO2 reduction goals set by the EU, the authors of the report claim. Introducing modern solutions will allow to reduce domestic emission of CO2 by even 100 mln tons by 2050.

At the same time, experts underline that emission reduction is a great challenge for the high-emission power sector primarily based on coal. They indicate, however, that in the coming years the sector will have to replace a significant part of its generation assets (as a large number of power plants are old), and may do so using on new, low-emission technologies.

Interestingly, the report indicates that within the next five years dispersed photoviltaics will become profitable thanks to falling prices of the technology. A new segment of power recipients will emerge: the so-called prosumers, who combine the features of consumers and producers. First they will appear in the services sector, and later among individual clients as well.

The transformation of the Polish power sector to have no impact on power costs

Experts underline that this transformation of the power sector will not result in an increase in power prices.

„Poland does not need to blaze trails: while developing new technologies it may adjust its infrastructure to the changing environment much more efficiently and avail itself of the decline of costs of new technologies . . . From the point of view of the power market there are no factors which should result in higher power prices in a long-term perspective.”

Co-generation (i.e. producing power and heat at the same time) has a big development potential in Poland, the report shows. Small and medium units producing heat from coal are replaced by heat and power plants, especially natgas-fuelled ones. This reduces CO2 emission and allows to saturate growing demand for power.

Another conclusion from the report: about the year 2020, according to forecasts of RWE experts, the e-mobility technology, i.e. electric cars, will develop. Prices of such cars are falling gradually. RWE expects that the price of a fully electric car will soon fall to below PLN 100k. More widespread electric engines will increase demand for power, lowering Poland's dependence on imports of traditional fuels.

 

Source: Ministry of Treasury





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