The electricity system needs heating sector

The National Power System (NPS) will face new challenges. These include the uninterrupted supply of energy to consumers when the oldest and most emission-intensive generating units are phased out, but also the efficient use of variable RES sources. District heating may be the key to solving NPS problems. In peak demand of the NPS, additional energy can be provided by cogeneration units, in times of surplus energy in the system - it can be absorbed by electric boilers producing cheap heat. The operation of CHP units can also improve the performance of electricity grids.

However, the debate on the safe and efficient operation of the NPS does not mention district heating as an energy resource. This is confirmed by the latest update of the scenario of the Polish energy policy until 2040, which does not see the benefits of integrating the electricity and district heating sectors.

The heat and power sectors have been lacking in strategy and ideas for years. Silo thinking prevails - TSO thinks only of controllable resources that are fully available for balancing, the heat sector thinks of increasing heat sales and obtaining financial support for investments in a rigid, strictly tariffed market that does not provide sufficient money for modernising companies. Decision-makers do not see the benefits of cogeneration. The debate on the development of this technology in Poland has been one of the most hermetic in the country for years.

In this analysis, we show how CHP can become a pillar of the energy system. Text available in Polish only.

Date of publication:: 13 July 2023

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