Polish Energy Gridlock

In principle I always maintain a positive mind (my research in Positive Psychology helps:-)) so forgive me if I sound somewhat negative about the state of the Polish Electricity sector (Grid and Power Stations). Over at Dat Blog I have been nagging for some time about a) the need for investment in the energy sector (both grid and stations), b) a sensible clean energy bill and c) privatisation of assets.

In January and February Polish electricity reserves was at an absolute minimum level, close to crisis point. At the time the naysayers said a black-out would happen soon, well one such black-out did happen yesterday in the town of Szczecin (population 420,000). Banks closed, shops closed, hospitals on generators and a whole host of other problems brought the area to a gridlock. Of course the industry blamed the weather!!! but come on how bad is the grid? Well it’s pretty bad – single lines that get cut if the wind sneezes, some of our less well off neighboring countries have a better grid infrastructure (admittedly not as old and they learnt from Poland’s mistakes!).

Last week several big wigs in the industry (including President’s of the main PSE Operator, Power Stations, etc) put their names to a report available here in Polish (PDF). The report indicates heightened concern over a potential blackout in the summer months caused by the aforementioned poor investments, Emission cuts, etc. etc. A blackout in the Summer months is likely because the characteristics of Poland’s energy use have changed, whilst we experienced a relatively mild winter, yet came close to a blackout, the summer months are likely to see increased use of air-conditioning caused by the growth of new office facilities, change in weather pattern, growth in new homes with AC, etc.

The Government is starting to listen and last week indicated a willingness to pursue a Nuclear Energy Station strategy with a potential time line for being operational in 12 years!! by which time Poland’s expected energy needs will be double the current production capacity.

What’s the answer? a) simply put – the reserves need to be built now (the capacity is there), b) consumers (includes businesses) need an awareness campaign by the government on conserving usage c) a high level plan needs to be put in place to improve the grid infrastructure across the country and d) accelerate the privatisation to provide the industry with essential funds for updating power stations.

I am optimistic, the major cities will not lose power but the poor buggers in the small towns and villages, slightly off the grid, will be heating their stew on gas stoves and reading by candlelight, doing their bit for green conservation….

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5 thoughts on “Polish Energy Gridlock

  1. […] April 9, 2008 by Datblog Forgive me if I sound somewhat negative about the state of the Polish Electricity sector (Grid and Power Stations). Over at Polandian I have been written about yesterday’s blackout in Szczecin (population 420,000) and a) the need for investment in the energy sector (both grid and stations), b) a sensible clean energy bill and c) privatisation of assets. Read More here […]

  2. […] Polish Energy Gridlock …heightened concern over a potential blackout in the summer months caused by the aforementioned poor investments, Emission cuts, etc. etc. A… […]

  3. island1 says:

    Scary stuff.

    1. I confess my ignorance – does Poland currently have any nuclear power stations?

    2. You’re not going to believe this but at the back of my kamienica some brainless fool still has his Christmas lights festooned over a tree in the yard! An awareness program pointing out that it’s now past Easter might help, but I doubt it.

  4. darthsida says:

    Hanlon’s Razor paraphrased:
    Never attribute to industry that which can be explained by weather.

    Why, it can be the weather thing. My area, power lines can’t [or won’t, all the same] be underground. So yes, snow, or wind black my place out, at times for long hours. When I would call the power engineering service guys “why won’t you cut away those few freaking trees whose branches are so detrimental year after year?”, they’d answer “we can’t cut a thing. Every branch is the property of such-and-such forest inspectorate, that under some stupid green law, is supposed to approach every branch with holy reverence.”

    Start felling trees, then politicians. Not the other way round.

  5. Nuclear Power Engineering in poland

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    Internships for Students:

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    http://www.abroadstudycareer.com/nuclear-power-eng-poland.php

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