Polish utilities taking small steps in transition from coal to renewables

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):Poland’s largest power generators are slowly waking up to what many of their European peers have long internalized as part of their strategies: that coal may not be king for much longer.State-run utilities like PGE Polska Grupa Energetyczna SA and TAURON Polska Energia SA have recently started to complement their coal-heavy portfolios with wind and solar power. The moves come as political and investor pressure around climate change is mounting and as rising carbon prices under the EU’s emissions trading scheme are squeezing earnings from the large hard coal and lignite-fired power stations that still produce most of Poland’s power.In a bow to EU climate policies, Tauron said May 27 that it would replace most of its coal-burning plants with renewables over the next decade, lifting wind and solar capacity to 65% of its power generation by 2030. At the moment, the utility runs 4,291 MW of thermal power plant capacity, compared with only 334 MW from wind farms and hydropower plants.Analysts are expecting a similar shift at state-owned PGE, by far the largest power producer in Poland, with an installed capacity of over 16,000 MW. The company will release its own strategic update in August.But on a May 29 call with analysts, Henryk Baranowski, president of the board and CEO of PGE, touted that the company had just signed what it says is Poland’s first corporate power purchase agreement, selling the output of a planned 5-MW solar farm to the operator of a local sulfur mine. Baranowski also said that the utility wants to develop 2,500 MW of additional PV capacity over the next decade.“This is of course a longer prospect, reaching 2030,” he said. “However, it is important that we have already taken the first steps toward that goal.” The company has also been busy looking for partners to build some of the first offshore wind farms in the country, competing with Polish energy group Polenergia SA.More ($): Polish utilities plot move away from coal as climate pressure, carbon costs rise Polish utilities taking small steps in transition from coal to renewableslast_img

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