Risk of capacity shortage in the Polish electricity system up to 2020


To what extent electricity shortages can be expected in the years 2016/2017? How will the reserves in the power system develop? The reserves in Poland are still relatively high, they were in 2013 at about 13 percent of the annual peak load. In 2018, the reserves will decline to about 8 percent. Assuming the so-called cold reserve, which was introduced in 2014, the reserve capacity, however, is at 11 percent in 2017. According to the provision of new generation capacity in the years 2019/2020 the reserve will increase to approximately 18 percent.

Key conclusions

  • There is no significant risk of a capacity deficit on the Polish power system up to 2020, as demonstrated by analysis of the level of available reserve capacity and an assessment of the power system.
  • The need to decommission old power units, combined with increasing demand for pow-er (1.3% annually) will lead to a decline in the level of reserve capacity required by PSE SA to 8% in 2018. In subsequent years the trend will reverse and reserve capacity will grow to 14% in 2020 as a result of the commissioning of new units, including coal-fired units in Kozienice (950 MW), Opole (1900 MW) and Jaworzno (950 MW).
  • Taking into account the cold reserve contracted by PSE SA, reserve capacity will fall to 11% in 2018, and then rise to 16% in 2020. This is significantly higher than the reserve requirements in Italy or the United Kingdom (10%).
  • After taking into account the cold reserve, LOLE (Loss of Load Expectation – the ex-pected number of hours in a year in which available capacity is lower than electricity demand) does not exceed 0.2 hours, which is well above the goals set by other European countries (France and Great Britain – 3 h, Holland – 4h). This means that the estimated likelihood of a capacity deficit in the Polish electricity system is much lower than the standard accepted by France, Great Britain, or Holland.
  • After 2013, Poland will import increasing amounts of electricity. If there are no delays in the completion of expected investment projects, Poland will return to being a net electricity exporter once the units in Opole (1900 MW) and Jaworzno (950 MW) are in operation in 2019-2020.


Title of analysis: "Risk of capacity shortage in the Polish electricity system up to 2020"
Date of publication: September 2014
Author: Dr Jan Rączka, Edith Bayer, Dr Joanna Maćkowiak-Pandera on the basis of analysis by DNV GL.


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