Poland faces power shortage from 2020

OREANDA-NEWS. May 24, 2016. Poland could face power shortages from 2020 unless utilities increase investment in new generation capacity, transmission system operator (TSO) PSE said.

Present investment in new power plants — covering 5.8GW of capacity — is insufficient to compensate for the forced closure of several ageing thermal generation units under EU rules, PSE said.

Poland must shut down at least 2.985GW of existing capacity by 2020, even if utilities decide to modernise some existing units, the TSO estimated. And decommissioned capacity could be as high as 6.617GW if market conditions for thermal generation remain unfavourable and utilities decide against modernising ageing plants.

And PSE analysis showed that the country would need to decommission between 13.93GW and 20.92GW by 2035 — in its modernisation scenario and full plant retirement outlook, respectively.

The new capacity under construction — including PGE's coal-fired 1.8GW Opole plant, utility Enea's 1.075GW Kozienice and generator Tauron's 910MW Jaworzno — could prevent power shortages only until 2022 in the modernisation scenario, or 2020 if all ageing plants are decommissioned, the TSO said. The analysis is based on assumptions that there will be no power imports, PSE said.

It has called for the timely completion of projects under construction, investment in more capacity and for operators to maximise the lifetime of old plants. Poland will need up to 29.75GW of new generation capacity by 2035, PSE said.