What goes in Poland on 4th of April.
More renewables and nuclear power. Natural gas takes a back seat in update of Polish energy policy until 2040
Minister of Climate and Environment Anna Moskwa, together with representatives of PKN Orlen, Polska Grupa Energetyczna, Enea, Tauron and PSE (Poland’s grid operator – ed.), presented a new scenario for Poland’s Energy Policy Until 2040. The update to the strategy diminishes the role of gas, and gives a bigger role to renewables and the atom.
The new scenario reduces the role of natural gas in the Polish energy mix and ups the share of RES and nuclear energy. Compared to previous forecasts, gas consumption in power plants and combined heat and power plants will be reduced by approx. 37 percent in 2030 and about 45 percent in 2040.
“We are presenting an annex to the Energy Policy of Poland. The document reflects the plans of companies in the power generation sector. They are very ambitious and serious. While updating the PEP2040, we were inspired with ideas such as sovereignty. We have added a fourth pillar, which is energy sovereignty, understood in a multi-stage way. The most important aspect is to maximize our own resources and optimize external directions,” Minister Moskwa explained.
“The energy sector will tread the low-carbon path thanks to increasing the capacity of renewables and their participation in meeting the demand for energy. The technical condition for a successful transition is boosting the expansion of the grid and distribution networks. As soon as the first nuclear reactor is built, we will consistently phase out coal-fired power. We want to reduce gas capacities in favor of an increase in coal ones. As for the location of the second nuclear power plant, we are working on presenting several proposals,” she added.
The updated PEP2040 assumes a fourfold increase in capacity from RES: 68 percent of the capacity installed in the National Power System (KSE) and more than 50 percent of the share in electricity production. Offshore wind is expected to account for 5.9 GW in 2030 and 18 GW in 2040. Onshore wind is expected to generate 14 GW in 2030 and 20 GW in 2040. The strategy also talks about a 23 percent share of nuclear power, new capacity of 7.8 GW from a large atom and the development of SMR technology in the future.
Coal-fired power plants to have their lifespan extended
Minister of Climate and Environment Anna Moskwa answered journalists’ questions about the plan to extend the work of old coal power plants. They have to work two to three years longer to ensure energy security.
The plan is to extend the operation of old coal blocks at the end of their service life into the 2020s. It assumes a “two-three-year exit” and depending on the unit, an extension of life-span until 2026-2030. “We will not talk about dates, because it is a trade secret, ” Moskwa said at a press conference in the Ministry.
Poland wants to extend the operation of old 200 MW coal blocks thanks to the Bloki 200+ program of the National Center for Research and Development. The country is facing an electricity supply gap estimated by the Energy Regulatory Office at 4.6 GW at this point. In the 2020s, when there will be no nuclear power, renewable energy sources will continue to be backed up by coal, so as not to increase the role of gas in the energy sector too much due to the safety emphasized in the updated PEP2040, which provides for the participation of gas in the energy sector until 2040.
Poland’s grid to see half a trillion worth of investments by 2040
The update of PEP2040, provides for PLN 500 billion in investments into developing transmission and distribution networks by 2040.
PSE CEO Tomasz Sikorski reminded that the updated PEP2040 Energy Strategy provides for about PLN 500 billion for new transmission networks by 2040. “The plan is to invest PLN 60 billion until 2030 and we estimate that the grid will need at least twice or three times as much investment,” Sikorski said during a press conference about the PEP2040 update.
He said external funding would be needed for this. PSE’s investments are intended to facilitate the development of RES and their integration into the National Power System. “We need to ensure that we strike a balance between both areas, so that one does not become more important than the other, because then we will create additional costs,” PSE CEO said.
PEP2040 provides for a fourfold increase in the capacity of renewable sources (RES) to 68 percent of the capacity installed in the system and more than 50 percent of the share in energy production. Renewables are expected to reach 50 GW in 2030 and 88 GW in 2040. Atom is expected to account for 23 percent of energy production in 2040 with 7.8 GW of generating capacity. Together they are to cover 74 percent of generation capacity and 73 percent of zero-emission sources. In total, there will be 130 GW of generating capacity in Poland in 2040.
Poland’s updated strategy switches natural gas with coal and hopes to sell LNG
According to the update of PEP2040, natural gas is to be replaced with coal as a transitional fuel, limiting the use of gas in the energy sector and offering possible re-export of surpluses to neighbors.
“We are finishing up the investments that are ongoing and those at an early stage for which we know there is financing,” explained the Minister of Climate and Environment Anna Moskwa asked by BiznesAlert.pl
“We’re changing the optics. The transitional and basic fuel is coal, the second is gas,” Moskwa said. She noted that a precipitous increase in renewable capacity and managing its supply are the priorities. RES surpluses may allow Poland to produce hydrogen, but so will nuclear power. “We are fighting for EU definitions to qualify nuclear hydrogen,” she stated. “The answer to reducing the amount of gas is to increase the amount of RES and small nuclear reactors,” the Minister stated.
She also reminded that the existing gas infrastructure in Poland would be expanded by a FSRU with a capacity of 6.1 billion cubic meters a year. “We are in dialogue with our Czech, Slovak and, more recently, Hungarian and Ukrainian partners. If a second FSRU was built, it would be used for trade with neighbors for the purpose of a gas hub, ” the Minister said, referring to the plan to bring two FSRUs. BiznesAlert.pl was the first to report that two units were on the table.
Gas is expected to account for only 10 percent of generation capacity and for 15 percent of energy generated in 2040. These are the new arrangements included in the draft energy policy of Poland until 2040 in the version updated by the government.