Polish energy sector 2050 | 4 scenarios

What will be the result if Poland keeps its energy mix based on coal, introduces nuclear power or promotes renewables? Forum Energii analysed four different scenarios for the development of the Polish energy sector over the next 30 years. Report presents the economic, social and environmental implications of their imple­mentation. 

The report reflects on four scenarios:

  • Coal scenario is based mainly on coal-fired units. The scenario assumes construction of new hard coal and brown coal mines. In 2050, the RES share will amount to 17%.
  • Diversified scenario with nuclear power introduces a diversified mix of energy technologies, along with a nuclear power plant, instead of a brown coal-fired power plant. In 2050, the RES share will amount to 38%.
  • Diversified scenario without nuclear power it is similar to the previous one, however, energy generation in a nuclear power plant is replaced by increased generation from natural gas and RES, whose share in 2050 will amount to 50%.
  • Renewable scenario - assumes gradual withdrawal of carbon-based energy. RES - based energy generation share increases up to 73%. Gas cogeneration units complete generation balance.

Polish economy together with energy sector have been based on coal. The outcome of our research shows that this model irreversibly ends. – says Joanna Maćkowiak Pandera, president of Forum Energii. – Energy production and distribution technologies are developing faster than ever. Maintaining the status quo within the power industry will be impossible. The market will impose changes.

What is more, without change, Poland will gradually become dependent from coal import. Diversification of energy sources is the key to  energy security. – adds Andrzej Rubczyński, Analysis Director.  

Main conclusions

  1. Total system costs of each of the analysed scenarios are similar for the period between 2016 and 2050. The difference does not exceed 6%. They amount to approx. EUR 529 - 556 bn (CAPEX and OPEX in the period 2016-2050). The renewable scenario means lower electricity prices in comparison with the coal scenario - within the range from EUR 2/MWh to EUR 9/MWh.
  2. Individual scenarios differ significantly in terms of CO2 emission level reduction (2050 compared with 2005). The coal scenario implies reduction by 7%, 65%-68% in case of the diversified scenarios and by 84% in case of RES. The renewable scenario will allow achieving the reduction targets of the European Union, provided that energy efficiency policy is implemented simultaneously.
  3. Diversification of the energy mix will improve energy security. The renewable scenario provides the highest level of energy independence (only 30% of imported fuels), due to the use of primary energy local resources. In the coal scenario there is a risk of rapid increase of imported fuels. In 2050, it is estimated that between 45% and 70% of the coal necessary for electricity generation might be imported.


Title of analysis: "Polish energy sector 2050. 4 scenarios"

Date of publication:: 22 September 2017

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