Responsible businesses foresee blackouts
As a result of the heat wave and drought this August, Polish Transmission System operator (PSE), the main electricity provider in the country, announced it would reduce and ration electricity supply. The decision affected mainly large industrial plants which require a supply of over 300 kW. Rationing of this kind had not happened since 1989.
Problems had been caused by summer overhauls of installations and reduced output capacity of power plants cooled by water, where cooling became extremely difficult due to low water level and high water temperature. Renewable Energy Sources failed: windmills drew to a halt since there was very little wind, while the output efficiency of photovoltaic panels was reduced when the temperature exceeded 35oC. Polish energy sector had to cave in to weather anomalies.
Energy supply security of Grupa Azoty PUŁAWY
Grupa Azoty PUŁAWY was luckily free from serious problems thanks to the fact that installation overhauls are made in the summer and output of our facilities is reduced anyway. At the same time, the power supply limitations proved problematic for KGHM Polska Miedź. The company managed to improve its energy supply security thanks to own energy sources. It was possible to stabilize the situation using the combined cycle installations in Polkowice and Głogowów.
Bringing the risk of a blackout to the minimum
The business strategy of Grupa Azoty PUŁAWY takes the risk of a blackout into account. The investment plan of the company includes diversifying energy sources, which will make it possible to secure energy supply for the plants. At the same time, this approach serves as an example of taking responsibility for the Polish economy and the environment. The new energy provision concept comprises a combined cycle plant installation coupled with the partly modernized heat and power plant using coal, which will complement the gas installation.
Three boilers are going to be modernized in the existing CHP plant, ensuring heat and power supply for the Works in Puławy. The construction of a Power Plant fueled by natural gas is likely to provide a modern and clean source of energy, offering energy security for the Company regardless of extreme weather conditions, such as drought or frost. A gas-fueled plant requires 1135 liters of water to produce 1 Mwh of electricity, while a coal-fueled plant uses as many as 4 164 liters per 1 MWh!
Climate change policy necessitates action
Global policy on climate is a factor in the likelihood of the occurrence of a blackout. At an EU summit in autumn 2014 Poland agreed to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by 40% by 2030 on condition that the poorer members of the community, Poland included, would be able to grant free CO2 emission quotas to the national power plants by 2030. We have since learned that the European Commission is planning to cut the free greenhouses gases emission quotas. Such regulations have driven many companies from various sectors of the economy outside the EU territory. However, the recent change of strategy of USA and China, the two main CO2 emission producers in the world, may bring a breakthrough in the case.
New climate change policy of China and USA?
At Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation meeting held in Beijing in June 2015 president Barack Obama vowed the USA would reduce greenhouse gases emissions by 26-28% by 2025 in comparison with 2005 figures. It was also the first time China came up with a schedule of greenhouse gases reduction, with emissions expected to peak in 2030 and to decrease from then on. Beijing declarations might be followed by decisions at the UN Conference on climate change (COP21) due to be held in December 2015 in Paris. The bold ambition of the UN is for all the countries in the world to accept and sign a climate change agreement.
Consequences of reduced energy supply
For Grupa Azoty PUŁAWY, energy supply crisis constitutes a business risk which a responsible industrial company needs to be prepared for. What should be done, both for the sake of the company business interest and energy supply, is to invest in modern and efficient energy production methods. We are therefore intent on using cogeneration method in energy production and on implementing energy management methods that help to reduce emissions. Puławy Power Plant is going to be built basing on those modern and innovative solutions.