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Poland faces power supply squeeze after 2025 – TSO

Power

10 Dec 2019 12:51

Photo: Unsplash

Photo: Unsplash

Szczecin

10 Dec 2019 12:51

(Montel) Poland’s power market will face a supply squeeze from 2025, when a tightening of EU rules on plants’ CO2 emissions will force nearly 5 GW of thermal capacity out of the system, the nation’s TSO has warned.

“We foresee the utilities will scrap 4.9 GW [of capacity] not meeting the new standard already in 2025, and this will substantially deteriorate the country's power supply,” TSO PSE said in a grid development plan published on Tuesday.

It estimated the Polish power system would be in deficit of supply for 660 hours in 2026 and 2,294 hours in 2030. Poland’s power system has not been in a critical supply deficit since 2015, when the TSO had to force large consumers to cut 2.5 GW in demand to keep the system in balance, according to the TSO.

The warning comes as EU rules prevent power plants from receiving capacity payments after 1 July 2025 if they emit more than 550kg of CO2 per MWh. Coal-fired power plants currently account for around 80% of Poland’s electricity needs.

Many countries, such as the UK and France, use capacity auctions as a way of ensuring security of power supply and to help balance the grid during periods of peak demand.

In 2017, the European Commission approved Poland’s capacity market, which remunerates plant owners for keeping their units on standby for use at times of tight supply.

But Tempus Energy, a UK-based company, has filed a legal challenge to the EC’s approval of Poland’s capacity market, saying the EU executive neglected to launch an in-depth state-aid probe prior to backing the mechanism.

Nevertheless, PSE predicted that Poland would import more power from Germany, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Poland’s imports from those countries, now capped at 1,500 MW per hour due to current grid constraints, could reach over 4,000 MW in 2025 with the construction of new domestic lines in Poland and Germany that would facilitate cross-border power flows, it said.

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