Energy sector data 2019

We are presenting some key data on Polish energy sector in 2019, significant from the perspective of changes taking place in Poland.

Main conclusions

  • Electricity production is falling, with the biggest decrease being seen in production from lignite and hard coal. The share of coal in electricity production in 2019 was 73.6%, 4.8 percentage points less than in 2018.
  • In 2019, the import of electricity to Poland almost doubled, amounting to 10.6 TWh.
  • Last year, the largest amount of electricity from RES was produced - over 25 TWh. It is the highest in history. However, this result is still too low to meet EU obligations.
  • The paradox of the domestic coal market: despite the constant high demand for this resource, its production in Polish mines is decreasing and at the same time its reserves on heaps are increasing.
  • Diversification of gas supplies. Imports from Russia account for less than 50% of the blue fuel supplies to Poland.

Generation capacity

Installed capacity in the Polish system in 2019

  • The share of installed capacity in lignite and hard coal remains at 70%.
  • Renewable energy sources account for over 20% of installed capacity.

Change in installed capacity in 2019 as compared to 2018

  • The increase in the installed capacity for hard coal is mainly the result of the completion of construction of two new 900 MW units, both in Opole.
  • In 2019, a more than 3.5 times increase in photovoltaic installations being put into operation compared to the previous year.

Changes in installed capacity over the last decade

  • Over the last decade, the level of capacity installed in the system has been systematically increasing.
  • Between 2011 and 2015, RES installations were the ones being developed. After 2016 it was mainly conventional units.

Changes in installed RES capacity

  • At the end of 2019, 9.5 GW were installed in RES, of which 1.5 GW in photovoltaic installations.
  • The development of RES in the last two years is mainly due to investments in prosumer installations.

Electricity production

Electricity production in 2019

  • The share of coal in electricity production in 2019 was 73.6%. This is 4.8 p.p. less than the year before.
  • The importance of gas continues to grow. Its share in the energy mix was 8.8% compared to 7.2% in 2018.
  • The share of RES in electricity production was 15.4%, the highest in history.

Change in electricity production in 2019 as compared to 2018

  • Significant reduction of electricity production from coal results from a number of phenomena, including an increased share of RES and gas, competitively priced electricity imports, as well as renovations and shutdowns (e.g. B1 unit in Bełchatów PP).
  • The increase in electricity production by wind power plants was a consequence of weather conditions.

Change of electricity production over the last decade

  • In 2019, electricity production dropped by 3.6% as compared to 2018.

Change of electricity production from renewable energy sources over the last decade

  • In 2019, the largest amount of electricity in history was produced from RES, - over 25 TWh. However, this is still less than the assumed trajectory required to meet international obligations.
  • The increase in the prices of certificates of origin of energy from renewable sources, i.e. so-called green certificates, translated in 2018 and 2019 into an increase in production from biomass combustion plants.

Energy balance

Balance of domestic electricity production and consumption

  • Electricity production in 2019 was the lowest in five years. It amounted to 164 TWh.
  • Electricity imports almost doubled, to 10.6 TWh.
  • Estimating the exact domestic demand for electricity is difficult due to the growing importance of prosumer installations.

Change in electricity demand

  • Between 2010 and 2019, the demand for electricity in Poland grew on average by 1.1% and the GDP by 4.1%.

Change in peak power demand

  • The annual growth of the maximum power demand in the system is slowing down. In 2019 it amounted to about 26 500 MW, i.e. only 50 MW more than in the previous year.
  • In turn, the demand for peak capacity in summer increased by almost 500 MW.


Total national greenhouse gas emissions

  • In 2018, greenhouse gas emissions (mainly CO2, methane and nitrous oxide) remained stable at 412.5 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent.

Power and heating sector greenhouse gas emissions

  • In recent years, there has been no real reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in both the power and heating sectors.

Emissions of gases, dust and harmful substances from power generation

  • Reduction of emissions of sulphur and nitrogen oxides and other air pollutants is progressing as a result of continued implementation of environmental protection solutions in power plants and combined heat and power plants.

Electricity prices

Comparison of SPOT prices of electricity on neighbouring countries’ markets

  • After a sudden increase in the second half of 2018, last year electricity prices on the day-ahead markets in Poland’s neighbouring countries returned to the level of two years ago.
  • Prices in Poland are at the highest in the region.

Power sector fuels

Domestic hard coal production

  • In 2019, hard coal mining fell by almost 2 million tonnes compared to 2018. This trend has been ongoing for years.

Trade balance of steam hard coal

  • In 2019, imports of steam hard coal amounted to over 13 million tonnes, i.e. about 3 million tonnes less than in 2018.
  • Over 10 million tonnes came from Russia. Other import directions were Colombia, the USA, Kazakhstan and even South Africa.
  • Coal exports, mainly to the Czech Republic, amounted to 1.7 million tonnes.

Comparison of basic coal data

  • Even with electricity production declining, domestic consumption of hard coal has remained at a similar level in recent years.
  • The quality and price advantage of the imported fuel makes it necessary to store unsold domestic coal.

Domestic consumption of natural gas

  • The consumption of high-methane gas was 17.2 billion m3 in 2018 - 0.8 billion m3 more than the year before.
  • The largest increase in gas consumption was recorded in transport and services.
  • The use of nitrified gas remains stable at around 3.8 billion m3 per year. It is fully covered by domestic extraction of this fuel.

Supply of high-methane natural gas

  • Natural gas imports from Russia account for less than 50% of its supplies.
  • In 2018, the importance of other directions of supply increased significantly, mainly due to contracts for the purchase of liquefied gas.
  • Domestic production of high-methane natural gas, covering approximately 1⁄5 of this fuel demand, is decreasing year on year.


Title of analysis: "Energy transition in Poland. 2020 edition"
Date of publication: March 2020
Author: Rafał Macuk