Poland has very favorable technical and economical conditions for renewable energy. Since 2004 Poland has begun to experience a shift of political and public support away from traditional fossil fuels and toward the development of renewable energy resources. Poland has established a target of 10.4 percent of energy production from renewable sources by 2010, and will continue with this target until 2014. These targets were set forth in the Ministry of Economy regulation of November 3rd, 2006. Utilities are required to purchase electricity from renewable sources, and prices are regulated by tariffs. Producers of green energy can apply for green certificates that are tradable on global energy stock exchange markets.
Biomass and wind appear to be the most promising renewable energy resources for development in Poland. Both liquid and solid biomass is considered to be the main sources of renewable energy in Poland for both electricity and thermal energy production. Biomass technologies and supply sources are relatively mature, and the investment costs are lower than for other maturing renewable energy technologies. Poland also has some of the best documented wind resources in Central and Eastern Europe with areas reaching up to 1,000 W/m2 in power density.
Biomass is the most promising source of renewable energy in Poland. The technical potential of biomass amounts to 755 PJ/year. The greatest opportunities for biomass technology implementation are in the forestry, wood processing and agriculture sectors. The majority of current biomass use is for heat. Small and medium scale boilers in industrial settings most commonly use fuel such as wood pieces, sawdust, and wood shavings. Combined heat and power (CHP) plants using organic waste from pulp and paper operations, and straw and wood fired heating plants are also in operation. According to the Energy Regulatory Office the power installed in power plants fueled with biomass and biogas reached the capacity of 303MW.
About 47 percent of the land area of Poland, (approx. 14 million ha), consists of arable and agricultural lands. Nearly 9 million ha is forested, approximately 28 percent. It is estimated that the total forest cover in Poland will reach 32 percent in the next 15 years. There are very good opportunities for biomass development in Poland. The areas with the most potential for biomass/biogas projects are those in the northern and western regions, rural and mountainous regions, as well on the eastern border of Belarus.
In Poland, wind turbines installed by September 21, 2009 registered a combined capacity of around 582 MW. Energy produced in 2009 by wind farms reached 768GWh representing a 29.5% increase from the year before. According to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Poland is one of the most promising wind energy markets in Europe. The country possesses many potentially profitable locations and excellent development possibilities. Much of Poland has favorable conditions for wind energy production. The average wind speed varies between 5.5 and 7.0 m/s at a height of 50 meters. The productivity of one 2MW turbine may be equal to as much as 5,000 MWh per year.
Poland’s existing wind power capacity includes almost 400 wind turbines of varying capacity including 2.3MW installed at 14 professional wind power stations. The largest ones are:
• Margonin – 120MW – major investor Energias de Portugal
• Tymien – 50 MW – major investor INVEnergy of the USA
• Losina – 48 MW – major investor Mutsui and J-Power of Japan
• Suwalki – 41.5MW – major investor RWE of Germany
• Kisielice – 40.5 MW – major investor Iberdrola of Spain.
According to investors, the ROI of wind power investments is approximately 10-12 years. This favorable profitability rate is the result of the high price of electric power produced from RES which the market currently supports. When selling 1 MW of power, a wind farm owner can obtain up to $140 MWh. Wind energy projects are strongly supported by the Polish government and European Union funds. Funds for wind energy projects can be sourced from the 9.4 activity of the Operational Program “Infrastructure and Environment”.
Best selling prospects with harmonized system codes:
? 8402 wood-fired boilers
? 8402 fluidized-bed boilers
? 8402 straw-fired boilers
? 8407 spark ignition engines generating electricity from biogas at waste water treatment plants and landfill gas
? 841280 wind turbines
Poland is one of the European Union countries that committed to a 20% reduction of CO2 emission, a 20% goal of renewable energy in the total energy balance, and a 20% increase in the effective use of energy, all by the year 2020.
The Polish Biomass Chamber, together with local governments and under auspices of the Polish Ministry of Agriculture and Economy, aim to promote the national program “Biogas 2020”. This program commits to reaching 2000 MW of electric power by the year 2020 with scattered cogeneration. Within the framework of this program, Poland plans to build and install 2020 agricultural biogas facilities with a capacity of 0.5-2.0 MW by the year 2020. Each community should have such a facility. The required amount of acreage of biomass needed equals approximately 800 thousand hectares. The value of the program is estimated at 3 – 6 billion Euros. This program will create about 10,000 new jobs at those facilities as well as 40,000 – 60,000 new jobs in farming.
Poland is expected to increase its total wind power capacity 26-fold by 2020, according to the European Wind Energy Association’s (EWEA) latest figures. This will catapult Poland into the category of the foremost wind energy producers in the EU by 2020, after Germany, Spain, the UK, France and Italy. By 2020, Poland is expected to have a total installed capacity of up to 12,500 MW, of which 12,000 will be onshore installed capacity and the rest offshore. Poland has not yet ventured into offshore wind energy, but the ‘Energy Policy of Poland until 2030’, adopted by the Polish Council of Ministers in November 2009, outlines the country’s intention to support the development of wind farms both on land and at sea.