Energy 10 May, 2023 7:35 am   
COMMENTS: Joanna Słowińska

Polish Briefing: New underwater cable to bypass Poland I EU methane regulations I Poland’s e-car

pipeline gazociag Fot. Michał Perzyński

The Harmony Link power connection between Poland and Lithuania is delayed. However, the Baltic states make hay while the sun shines. Estonia and Germany want to build a cable that will be charged with power generated by offshore wind farms in the Baltic. The project’s name is the Baltic WindConnector.

While the Poland-Lithuania cable is delayed, Germany strikes deal with Estonia

Germany’s 50Hertz and Estonia’s Elering have signed a letter of intent to build the Baltic WindConnector. The cable is to reach a length of 750 km and begin on the coast of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, stretching to Estonia through planned offshore wind farms off its coast. The farms will be able to feed energy into the new connector through a hybrid installation, allowing deliveries to Germany. This will require one or more converters in Estonia, which will make it possible to transfer energy to other countries.

The agreement was signed on the occasion of another deal, with the participation of power grid operators from Germany (50Hertz), Estonia (Elering), Latvia (AST) and Lithuania (Litgrid). The second letter of intent concerned cooperation on hybrid installations like the one planned with Estonia to bring energy from offshore wind farms planned in the other Baltic states ashore. 50Hertz has technical experience in this field.

Information about the Baltic WindConnector comes shortly after a difficult market situation forced Poland’s PSE (grid operaor – ed.) and Litgrid to postpone the implementation of the Harmony Link DC cable that will connect Poland and Lithuania. Originally it was supposed to be ready in 2025, but problems with the availability of services related to HVDC cables due to the pandemic and abundance of investments after it ended have caused a delay. “The project is being carried out according to the schedule, however, due to the difficult market situation, the date of completion of Harmony Link may change,” PSE stated in a comment to in September 2022. People working in the industry have told that they were concerned the project would be delayed even until 2030.

50Hertz and Elering have not given a date for the implementation of the Baltic WindConnector.

50Hertz / Wojciech Jakóbik

The methane regulation has been amended to the benefit of Poland

The European Parliament adopted amendments to the methane regulation. This is important from the perspective of Poland, where most methane emissions are related to coal mining.

The MEPs adopted the report on the methane regulation in a plenary vote. It concerns the reduction of methane emissions in the energy sector including in the extraction of natural gas, its transport, storage and industrial use. For Poland, the section devoted to mines is particularly important – the majority of Polish methane emissions are associated with the extraction of hard coal.

The proposed system of penalties imposed by member states for excessive emissions could lead to the premature closure of some Polish mines. However, thanks to proposals made by, among others, Jerzy Buzek and Adam Jarubas, also developed in dialogue with trade unions, it was possible to strike a compromise at the EP on the draft of this regulation.

MEP Izabela Kloc (Law and Justice) stressed that this solution was beneficial for Polish mines. “For the first time in a very long time in this most radicalised EU institution, reason has triumphed over ideology,” she said.

The amendments succeeded in converting the penalties for violations into fees that will go to the budget of the member state, and then will be transferred to the mines for investment in technologies to reduce methane emissions.

The vote means that the European Parliament has a negotiating mandate to negotiate the final shape of the new regulations with the EU Council.

The European Commission has proposed a limit of 0.5 tonnes of methane per kiloton of coal mined. During the negotiations, it was agreed to increase the limit to 5 tons of methane per kiloton of coal mined and to stipulate that this threshold should be applied per operator if one entity operates several mines.

Polish Press Agency / Twitter / Jędrzej Stachura

Polish e-car producer-to-be argues it’s not too late

“The share of the electromobility sector in national GDP may increase from the current approx. 1.4 percent to even 3.9-5.2 percent in 2040,”  estimates the President of ElectroMobility Poland Piotr Zaremba. According to him, electromobility can create approx. 21,000 jobs in the automotive industry.

On Tuesday, the sixth edition of the International Automotive Business Meeting, a two-day automotive event, began in Jaworzno, during which experts and practitioners from the automotive industry from Central and Eastern Europe exchange experiences and discuss trends in the automotive industry.

The president of the company responsible for the Polish electric car project , recalled that with exports worth USD 12.3 billion a year, Poland was currently the tenth largest exporter of automotive parts in the world.

“It’s not too late. This is not a market that has gone so far that we are already in a losing position. Even if someone has denied to themselves a little that this revolution was coming, it is not too late to join this race,” Zaremba added. The company he leads is preparing to build a factory in Jaworzno where it will manufacture Poland’s e-car called Izera.

“Poland has a chance to become a production hub for zero-emission vehicles and related components,” he said.

So far, the majority of investments in Poland in the field of electromobility are related to batteries or components (such as electrolyte, separators, copper films, cathode elements). However, Polish companies are preparing to switch to electromobility. According to Zaremba, the Izera can be one of the most important driving wheels of Polish electromobility.

In his opinion, the current problem in Poland-despite large public funds spent on innovation development-is the lack of an industrial environment where it is possible to test, scale and implement the ideas developed. “Izera has a chance to be a suction pump for innovation, it has a chance to stimulate the development of R & D in the automotive field and offer a real place where these innovations can be implemented in practice,” Zaremba stated.

Polish Press Agency / Jacek Perzyński