Until the early 1990s, the domestic power industry was a natural monopoly. This was caused by the specificity of the operation of the electricity transmission and distribution sub sectors, technical challenges of coordinating the operation of generating units and transmission networks, requirements regarding long-term forecasting of the industry development, and returns to scale. In view of the above, the objective of the presented paper is to assess the economic situation of energy companies operating in a competitive electricity market. The article analyses the main areas of activity of the energy companies, i.e.: the areas of production, transmission, distribution, and sales. In addition, the market shares of the various energy companies, in terms of generating capacity and the amount of the energy produced, were analyzed. Furthermore, the technical and economic situation of enterprises operating in the power sector was also subjected to analysis. The mentioned analysis has revealed that the profit received from the main activity of the enterprises (i.e. the sale of electricity) has decreased in recent years. What is more, the energy sector must adapt to legal and regulatory changes related to the intensification of the decarbonization policy pursued by the European Commission. Therefore, national energy should focus on developing skills in the areas of innovation, such as: electro mobility, energy storage, energy management, etc.
Coal in Poland is an available conventional fuel providing energy security and independence of the country. Therefore, conventional energy generation should be based on coal with the optimal development of renewable energy sources. Such a solution secures the energy supply based on coal and the independence of political and economic turmoil of global markets. Polish coal reserves can secure the energy supply for decades. Coal will surely be important for energy security in the future despite the growing share of oil and gas in energy mix. The development of renewable power generation will be possible with the conventional energy generation offsetting volatile renewable power generation as Poland’s climate doesn’t allow for the stable and effective use of renewable energy sources. Considering the policy of the European Union with respect to emission reductions of greenhouse gasses and general trends as reflected in the Paris agreement in 2016, as a country we will be forced to increase renewable energy production in our energy mix. However, this process cannot impact the energy security of the country and stability and the uninterrupted supply of energy to consumers. Therefore seeking the compromise with the current energy mix in Poland is the best way to its gradual change with the simultaneous conservation of each of the sources of energy. It’s obvious that Poland can not be lonely energy island in Europe and in the world, which increasingly develops distributed energy and/ renewable technologies as well as energy storage ones. One can notice that without renewable generation and the reduction of coal’s share in country’s energy mix we will become the importer of electricity with raising energy dependence.
Assumptions of the major political and legal documents of the European Union, dedicated to energy efficiency and energy performance of buildings provide the Member States with relevant instruments supporting improvement of the ambient air qualityby dissemination of measures reducing energy demand and promotion of renewable energysources. Mainstreaming EU legislation into national regulations constitutes initial stage of the long term process of supporting implementation of energy efficiency measures. Experience in the improvement of energy performance of the residential buildings revealslimited efficiency of the measures implemented up to date, which results in significantair pollution of Polish cities. The national Action Plans had adopted a limited scope of recommendations included in the EU directives, hence the process meets significant challenges.The article describes adaptation of the relevant EU directives as well as the National Urban Policy in terms of the potential to effectively address faced challenges.
The paper analyzed the natural gas sector in Ukraine for the period 2000 to 2018. This sector was affected by external factors, such as the crisis which began in late 2008/2009, as well as internal factors, including the situation in Ukraine after 2013 (the Annexation of Crimea). A comparative analysis was also conducted of the natural gas sector in European Union countries and Ukraine – compared the specificity of natural gas consumption in 2018. The analysis (I) examined the demand for natural gas in Ukraine between 2000 and 2018; (II) described changes in sources to cover Ukraine’s gas needs with a particular emphasis on its own production; (III) pointed to the fundamental changes that have occurred in the natural gas supply routes to the Ukrainian sector in recent years; (IV) stressed the growing role of own production in balancing Ukraine’s gas needs; (V) described the role of Ukraine as a transit country for Russian gas to be delivered to EU countries (in recent years, the volume of natural gas transmitted via the Ukrainian transmission system has been around 90 bcm annually); and (VI) looked at the structure of natural gas consumption in the Ukrainian gas sector and how it has changed in recent years. Unlike EU countries, the growing role of own production in balancing Ukraine’s natural gas needs was emphasized, which is consistent with the strategy of the Ukrainian government. Also, attention was drawn to the threats that may significantly reduce the role of Ukraine as an important transit country. The paper also puts forward the most important parameters concerning the underground natural gas storage facilities in Ukraine which is one of the largest in Europe.
The implementation of EU environmental regulations in the energy sector is challenging for the power industry of its member states. The main role is played by documents such as the Winter Package and, especially, the Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the emission limits of certain pollutants and the implementation of BAT conclusions in order to achieve the EU’s decarbonization objectives. These regulations impose a greater need to control harmful substances emitted to the atmosphere while using fossil fuels, including hard coal, which is the main fuel for domestic units. At the same time, the decline in domestic fossil fuel production and decrease in the quality of parameters of the hard coal makes it difficult to purchase the proper fuel for power plants. As a consequence, the costs of hard coal increase. The article presents the concept of a mathematical model that can be applied for the optimization of coal supplies. The employment of this model allows one to achieve cost reductions. One of the advantages of the proposed tool, in addition to minimizing the cost of purchase and use of hard coal, is its rational management, especially for companies producing and using hard coal.
Blockchain is a technology, which could revolutionize many industries in the future. A system like that is based on a chain of blocks that is used for storing and transferring various data, forming a decentralized ledger. Although various fundamental projects based on the blockchain system in the energy industry are in their early stage of development, as well as other solutions, applications of blockchain technology in the broadly understood power engineering sector are considered to have a very large potential. This paper presents a brief description of the blockchain technology, its general operating principle and the possibilities it brings. The next section of the article contains a characterization of two exemplary and possible blockchain technology applications, which in the perspective of time may have a significant impact on the power engineering sector. The first solution is related to carrying out energy transactions, which could be conducted in an easy way directly between energy producers and consumers. Thanks to blockchain technology, this could lead to a partial decentralization in that area. The second proposed example concerns energy resources origin tracking, which would allow fixed origin attributes and parameters affecting the environment to be assigned to the generated energy. By implementing that solution, it would be possible to construct a fuel footprint of individual generating units. The article also mentions examples of other potential applications of blockchain technology in the power engineering sector.
The paper analyzes the impact of potential changes in the price relation between domestic and imported coal and its influence on the volume of coal imported to Poland. The study is carried out with the application of a computable model of the Polish energy system. The model reflects fundamental relations between coal suppliers (domestic coal mines, importers) and key coal consumers (power plants, combined heat and power plants, heat plants, industrial power plants). The model is run under thirteen scenarios, differentiated by the ratio of the imported coal price versus the domestic coal price for 2020–2030. The results of the scenario in which the prices of imported and domestic coal, expressed in PLN/GJ, are equal, indicate that the volume of supplies of imported coal is in the range of 8.3–11.5 million Mg (depending on the year). In the case of an increase in prices of imported coal with respect to the domestic one, supplies of imported coal are at the level of 0.4–4.1 million Mg (depending on the year). With a decrease in the price of imported coal, there is a gradual increase in the supply of coal imports. For the scenario in which a 30% lower imported coal price is assumed, the level of imported coal almost doubles (180%), while the supply from domestic mines is reduced by around 28%, when compared to the levels observed in the reference scenario. The obtained results also allow for the development of an analysis of the range of coal imports depending on domestic versus imported coal price relations in the form of cartograms.
The Polish power generation system is based mostly on coal-fired power plants. Therefore, the coal mining sector is strongly sensitive to changes in the energy sector, of which decarbonization is the crucial one. The EU Emission Trading System (EU ETS) requires power generating companies to purchase European Emission Allowances (EUAs), whose prices have recently soared. They have a direct impact on the cost efficiency of hard coal-fired power generation, hence influence the consumption of hard coal on the power sector. In this context, the objective of this paper is to estimate the hard coal consumption in various regions of Poland under selected forecasts of the EUA price. To investigate this question, two models are employed: - the PolPower_LR model that simulates the Polish power generation system, - the FSM _LR model that optimizes hard coal supplies. Three scenarios differentiated by the EUA price are designed for this study. In the first one, the average EUA price from 2014–2017 is assumed. In the second and third, the EUA prices are assumed accordingly to the NPS and the SDS scenario of the World Energy Outlook. In this study we consider only existing, modernized, under construction and announced coal-fired power generation units. The results of the study indicate that regardless of the scenario, a drop in hard coal consumption by power generation units is observed in the entire period of analysis. However, the dynamics of these changes differ. The results of this analysis prove that the volume of hard coal consumption may differ by even 136 million Mg (in total) depending on the EUA prices development scenario. The highest cumulated volume of hard coal consumption is observed in the Opolski, Radomski and Sosnowiecki region, regardless of the considered scenario.