Within the timeframe of the current TAURON Group Strategy, no revolutionary changes in conventional generation technologies are likely to appear. In the medium and long-term perspective, coal conversion methods that offer an efficient use of coal resources while respecting the need to reduce CO2 emissions (such as gasification or CCU) may gain in importance, yet the prospect of developing renewable technologies and electricity storage with the support of conventional sources is becoming more probable (due to their stabilizing role in the system).
New conventional units are fitted with installations that meet the most stringent environmental protection requirements (BAT conclusions). The efficiency of new conventional units – with sufficiently high parameters of superheated steam and pressure (ultra-supercritical parameters) – may reach 50%, but approaching this issue from today’s European perspective, such technologies will not be developed.
Bearing in mind unit CO2 emissions, it is possible that projects based on polygeneration (simultaneous energy and chemical media production) or cogeneration will be developed. The propagation of hybrid systems, which will also include large, medium and small-scale energy storage facilities (including electric cars), coupled with a concurrent rapid increase in grid costs (ensuring reliable grid operation in a renewable energy system), may prompt wealthier customers to shift toward off-grid solutions, which might additionally increase the grid costs for others. Already today we can demonstrate examples of generation for the user’s our own needs, both on a small scale (prosumer) and in the form of large power units (CCGT units built by ORLEN) – this trend will be maintained, resulting in the development of technologies enabling the achievement of several products under a single process – e.g. electricity, heat, cold, compressed air, power-to-gas technologies, etc. Nevertheless, renewable energy technologies and energy storage will continue to be developed in the long term, with particular emphasis on the efficiency of these technologies.
Moreover, smart technologies in the fields of IoT, smart grid and smart metering will, as a result of rapid development, become increasingly more accessible and competitive, which may establish the foundation for new business branches, e.g. dispersed RES installation management services or balancing of separated areas based on such sources.
The role of the distribution grid will change as it determines, to an increasingly greater extent, the security of the energy system and the quality of supply. Technologies for micro-grids and prosumers, including networked storage facilities, are likely to be developed. Acceleration of the development of electromobility will be another noticeable trend. The demand for electricity and related products (network infrastructure, new services) will increase. On the other hand, the challenge will be to provide additional demand for power during the morning and afternoon-evening peak hours. It will be necessary to adjust the offering for owners of electric vehicles and create a system of incentives for charging vehicles at night – to balance the demand for power.
The operation of the grid will be based on full digitization – 100% smart meters and the dissemination of IoT as a tool to ensure flexibility and reliability of electricity supply.