We are presenting some key data on Polish energy sector in 2018, significant from the perspective of changes taking place in Poland.

Main conclusions

  • The share of imports in covering domestic energy needs is increasing. Record imports of electricity, coal and gas were noted.
  • Energy mix diversification is progressing towards greater utilization of gas units.
  • In 2018, the share of RES in Polish energy mix did not grow. New investments are missing.
  • In 2017, greenhouse gas emissions in Poland increased by 4% compared to 2016.
  • Emissions only in the power and heating sectors remained unchanged in the last year.
  • The import balance of hard coal has tripled and covers about a quarter of domestic demand.
  • The share of gas in the energy mix is growing, last year it amounted to 7.2%, compared to 5.6% in 2017.

Installed capacity

  • The share of installed capacity in lignite and hard coal decreased from 72% in 2017 to 70% at the end of 2018.
  • The share of installed capacity of gas units increased by 1 p.p.

Change in installed capacity in 2018 as compared to 2017

  • The increase in installed capacity in gas units is a result of the completion of the investment in the industrial CHP plant in Płock.
  • The installed capacity of photovoltaic panels increased by more than 80% year-to-year

Changes in installed capacity

  • In the last decade, new capacities consisted of mainly RES and gas-fired industrial units.

Changes in installed RES capacity

  • The installed PV capacity tripled to 560 MW in 2016-18.
  • Other renewable sources development is halted since 2016.

Electricity production

Electricity production in 2018

  • Coal is the most important fuel in electricity production - its share was 78.1% compared to 78.4% in 2017.
  • The importance of gas is growing. Its share in the energy mix was 7.2% compared to 5.6% in 2017.
  • The share of RES in electricity production decreased to 12.7% from 14.1% in 2017.

Change in electricity production in 2018 as compared to 2017

  • The decrease in lignite production results mainly from the shutdown of the Adamów power plant.
  • The decrease in production from onshore wind power plants is related to unfavourable legal regulations and less wind.
  • The production of electricity from coal and gas increased after the completion of the Kozienice power plant and the CHP plant in Płock.

Changes in electricity production

  • In the last decade, the share of natural gas in the energy mix has increased significantly.
  • The changes in other sources were minor.

Changes in electricity production from renewable energy sources

  • In 2018, the lowest production and the lowest share of RES in the mix after 2014 were noted.

Energy balance

Balance of domestic electricity production and consumption

  • In 2018, electricity production remained at the 2017 level.
  • The growing demand for electricity was covered by imports. The net import volume increased two-and-half-fold.

Change in electricity demand

  • In 2009-18 the demand for electricity in Poland increased on average by 1.6%, and last year by 1.8%.
  • GDP is growing faster than electricity demand.

Change in peak power demand

  • The annual maximum peak power demand in the Polish system is growing - in 2018 it reached a new record level of 26.45 GW.
  • The problem of rapidly growing peak power demand in summer is worsening.


Total national greenhouse gas emissions

  • In 2017, total greenhouse gas emissions increased by 16 million tonnes or about 4% compared to the previous year.
  • The upward trend has been continuing since 2014.

Power and heating sector greenhouse gas emissions

  • Emissions from the power sector increased in 2017 by 1% compared to 2016.
  • Emissions from the heating sector remain constant.

Power sector gas and dust emissions

  • In 2016, over 40% reduction in SOx emissions was observed. Emission reductions result from the implementation of the Industrial Emissions Directive.
  • In 2016, the trend of slow NOx and dust emission reduction continued

Electricity prices

Comparison of spot electricity prices on neighbouring markets

  • In 2018, the whole region experienced a significant increase in electricity prices.
  • It is evident that prices on neighbouring markets in the European Union are progressively levelling out, as a result of the functioning of the internal electricity market.

Power sector fuels

Domestic production of hard coal

  • In 2018, hard coal production decreased by 2 million tonnes compared to 2017.

Trade balance of steam hard coal

  • Steam coal imports are a record high, with over 78% of the volume coming from Russia. Other main import directions are Colombia, the USA and Kazakhstan.
  • Exports from Poland are the lowest in 15 years.

Domestic consumption of steam hard coal in 2017

  • Almost half of the steam coal, 30.7 million tonnes, was used to generate electricity.
  • Over 40% of the volume, i.e. 25 million tonnes, was used for heating purposes.

Domestic natural gas consumption

  • In 2017, the consumption of high-methane natural gas increased to 16.4 billion m3 , i.e. by over 25% in 9 years.
  • In the same period, domestic production decreased by 18% and amounted to 1.7 billion m3.
  • Nitrified natural gas comes entirely from domestic production. Its use is at a constant level of approx. 3.8 billion m3 annually.

Supply of natural gas

  • Imports from the East account for more than 50% of gas supplies.
  • In 2017, imports from other directions increased, mainly due to contracts for the purchase of liquefied gas.

Title of analysis: "Energy transition in Poland. Edition 2019"
Date of publication: April 2019
Authors: Rafał Macuk, Joanna Maćkowiak Pandera, Andrzej Rubczyński, Aleksandra Gawlikowska-Fyk, Forum Energii