European Union sets ambitious targets for all Member States to reach a 20% share of energy from renewable sources by 2020, to achieve an average level of 20% for the whole of the EU. In the case of Poland this target is 15%. It improves the legal framework for promoting renewable electricity, requires national action plans that establish pathways for the development of renewable energy sources including bioenergy, creates cooperation mechanisms to help achieve the targets cost effectively and establishes the sustainability criteria for biofuels.
“Electricity can be generated from all types of biomass. Several reliable technologies are available. These technologies can be used to run freestanding power stations. Large centralized power plants, like those used to burn straw in Denmark […] offer the best economic performance. The Commission encourages Member States to harness the potential of all cost-effective forms of biomass electricity generation.”
European Commission, Biomass Action Plan, 2005
In the face of Europe’s increasing dependency on fossil fuels, using biomass is one of the key ways of ensuring the security of supply and sustainable energy in Europe. Biomass as a renewable source is to work for delivering a low-energy economy, whilst making the energy we do consume more secure, competitive and sustainable. This sets out a series of Community actions aimed in particular at increasing the demand for biomass, improving supply, overcoming technical barriers and developing research. Biomass is expected to contribute to more than half of the EU 2020 20% renewable energy target. This important role is expected to remain according to 2030 and 2050 projections. Biomass is an essential renewable energy source to reach EU long term decarbonisation objectives.
“Biomass means the biodegradable fraction of products, wastes and residues from biological origin from agriculture (including vegetable and animal substances), forestry and related industries including fisheries and aquaculture, as well as the biodegradable fraction of industrial and municipal waste” Renewable energy directive (2009/28/EC).
Land used for growing conventional crops (rape, wheat, maize, etc.) can be exploited for energy purposes, by using the waste (such as straw) and not limiting the agricultural production itself.
Biomass market in Poland
Biomass represents 6% in Poland’s energy-mix with a significant potential to grow due to the surplus of straw as a waste product of a well-developed farming sector. In a country where around 60% of land is agricultural, including over 40% of arable land (nearly 14 million hectares), the supply of agro-biomass is at a high level.
Straw surplus for eco-energy utilization amounts to ca. 10 million tonnes annually. Especially in the Lublin Upland which draws TergoPower attention as the first location with at least 1 million tonnes of surplus straw available. The Polish government forecasts that primary energy consumption in Poland will grow at 1.5% between 2010 and 2020 per annum and the use of renewable energy sources should reach 15.58% by 2020.
Surplus straw in Poland in the years 1999-2013 in thous.tons
Poland will need to partially migrate to renewable energy in future as a supplement to the coal industry. Biomass is the most promising renewable energy resource for development in Poland, which already in 2014 had 46% share in production of renewable energy in Poland (22% if excluding co-firing with coal). TergoPower estimates potential of Poland to have 10-15 straw-fired power plants of total installed capacity of 500-750 MW (50 MW per project) and aims to develop 5 such projects in the coming years.
Strategic goals for TergoPower’s cooperation with Poland is to focus on energy, climate change and the environment. TergoPower is a long term partner for Poland in modernizing Poland’s energy system and implementing green energy projects. We can contribute to Poland’s plan for energy sector modernization by securing energy supplies from local sources and bolstering national energy security. Investments in green power plants and CHPs will support Poland’s ecological ambitions and climate obligations towards the EU.
„The most important and stable types of renewable energy sources in Poland are: biomass, agricultural biogas, as well as in the coming years, distributed energy, based on a prosumer model and energy clusters system.”
Minister of Energy Krzysztof Tchórzewski, October 2016.
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