The present situation of renewable energy sector in Poland

Since 1990’s the share of RES in global energy production in Poland has been slowly increasing. At the moment, the basic sources of renewable energy are biomass and hydropower. Geothermal energy, wind power and solar energy are of lower significance.

In 2001 Poland’s total primary energy supply was 90.57 Mtoe, of which 4.5 % or 4.08 Mtoe was produced from RES.

A progression of RES share during 1990 — 2002 is given in table 3 [18], which shows total primary energy supply and electricity production, a contribution of renewable energy to total supply and electricity production in quantities and %.

Solid biomass and biogas are the largest RES. The second largest source is hydropower. Geothermal and wind energy are of lesser significance. The contribution of solar energy to total energy supply is still very marginal, but growing interest can be observed. Table 4 presents the respective contribution of different renewables [18,19,20], including solar energy for the year 2001 and 2002 in installed capacity, gross electricity generation and gross heat production.

Table 3. A progression of RES share during 1990 — 2002

Years

Total

Primary

Energy

Supply

(Mtoe)

RES

(Mtoe)

RES

Share

(%)

Total

Electricity

Generation

(TWh)

RES

Electricity

(TWh)

RES

Electricity

Share

(%)

1990

99.85

1.58

1.6

134.4

1.47

1.1

1995

99.87

3.92

3.9

137.0

1.96

1.4

1998

97.45

3.92

4.0

140.8

2.53

1.8

1999

93.55

3.75

4.0

140.0

2.35

1.7

2000

90.05

3.80

4.2

143.2

2.33

1.6

2001

90.57

4.08

4.5

143.7

2.78

1.9

2002

87.51

4.06

4.6

142.2

2.72

1.9

Renewables do not include industrial waste, non-renewable municipal solid waste and pimped storage production.

Electricity generation = gross production — amount of electricity produced in pumped storage plants.

Table 4. Contribution of RES for the year 2001 and 2002 in installed capacity, gross electricity generation and gross heat production

Renewable

Energy

Source

Installed

Capacity

(MW)

Gross

Electricity

Genera­

tion

(GWh)

Gross

Heat

Produ­

ction

(TJ)

Installed

Capacity

(MW)

Gross

Electrici

ty

Genera

-tion

(GWh)

Gross

Heat

Produ­

ction

(TJ)

2001

2002

Biomass

6500

310

102 056

Hydro

2324

700-800

2025

Wind

28

30

29

60

Geothermal

55.75

245

55.75

371

Geothermal Heat Pumps

31.4

800

units

33.4

1000

units

Solar Thermal

17

10 980 m2

Solar

Photovoltaics

0.06

9.3

0.08

11.6

Biomass may be utilised in direct combustion processes in a solid and gaseous form and processed into liquid fuels. The current number of wood-fired installations is estimated at over 100,000 units, which includes small wood gasification boilers, in which wood may be combusted as an alternative fuel with coal, and also larger scale industrial boilers in the pulp and paper industry. Furnaces for burning straw and hay are also used, and energy producing willow plantations are being developed. Biogas is generated at waste disposal sites and in sewage treatment plants. Utilisation of biomass and biogas is more and more important and more profitable.

Water energy plants in Poland (both state and private ones) supply around 2000 GWh of energy per year including mini energy plants at the level of 1 GWh. A few hundred small energy plants operating on Polish rivers produce energy on a local scale.

Wind energy production is developing but is facing a difficult start, one of the reasons being that plants can be built mainly along the Baltic coast with the most suitable conditions along the central coast, where the wind is the strongest.

In recent years the possibilities of using geothermal waters for heating purposes have been investigated. A quarter of the country’s area has good conditions for the construction of installations that would utilise the warmth of the soil. The resources of geothermal waters can be found mainly in the Polish lowlands, particularly from Szczecin to Lodz, in Mazowsze and rich in geo-thermal waters is the area of Podhale.

The greatest technical potential is to be found in solar radiation. Even though solar energy is the least appreciated source of energy, we can observe growing interests in this field and encouraging examples of solar installations are being constructed in some places in Poland.

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