The tightening energy and climate policy of the European Union (EU) combined with the increase in prices of CO2 emission allowances set the direction of the development of the energy sector. The reduction of the support systems for conventional energy and the prospect of not being able to benefit from the ETS derogation means a permanent loss of profitability for these units. The reduction of the financing for both coal fired installations as well as the capital groups with coal assets and the narrowing base of coal property insurers reduces the financial sense of maintaining conventional assets. In December 2019, the European Commission presented the European Green Deal – an action plan to implement a strategy to achieve climate neutrality at the EU level by 2050.
An increase of the domestic electricity production, including RESgeneration, is assumed. A strong growth of photovoltaics is observed, associated primarily with the launch of the support programs, including programs for the prosumers. According to SolarPower Europe, Poland was ranked fifth in the EU in 2019 in terms of new solar capacity growth. In 2020, another record increase in new PV capacity is estimated. An additional factor supporting such growth is the possibility of obtaining funds for investments from the dedicated funds planned for 2021-2030.
The growth of investments in the renewable energy sources will also apply to on-shore wind farms and, in the long term, off-shore wind farms. The technological changes related to wind farms and the favorable regulations will translate into the repowering of the installations, thus increasing the capacity and improving the efficiency of their use.
The key issue in the coming years will continue to be ensuring the security of the operation of the National Power System (Krajowy System Elektroenergetyczny – KSE). The capacity market has been introduced in Poland for that purpose, which is one of the elements supporting the transition of the Polish power sector. Obtaining derogations from the requirements to adapt the generating units to the BAT Conclusions represents an opportunity for the conventional power generation.
On the heat market Poland’s policy, aimed at providing support for the co-generation and improving air quality, may lead to an increase of investments and the growth of this area. An important factor is rising social awareness, the actively conducted battle against smog waged by the local governments and the national aid programs. On the other hand, the growth opportunities for the heating market are limited due to the improvement in the energy efficiency of buildings and the rising competition from the increasingly efficient individual heating devices. The reduction in the financing and insurance of coal investments should also be taken into account.