Bełchatów power plant – what next?

author: Ewaryst Hille 

Full text of the analysis (PL)

Energy from hydrogen and natural gas instead of lignite at the Bełchatów Power Plant by 2035 at the latest.

Key trends:

  • dispersed and local small and micro-scale renewable energy sources are developing rapidly
  • energy efficiency and power management are improving
  • the energy storage capacity is increasing
  • The cost of energy production from onshore wind power plants is much lower than from coal
  • legal distance restrictions limit the development of wind energy

The scenarios considered for the coal phase-out will result in:

  • a significant acceleration of the reduction of CO2 emissions from energy by 2030 compared to the plans from the National Energy Policy 2040
  • reduction of CO2 emissions from the Bełchatów Power Plant translating into approx. 39-42% reduction of emissions from the power industry between 2020 and 2030
  • almost 30 times lower annual CO2 emissions from the Bełchatów Power Plant compared to current emissions – even to 1.2 million tonnes per year in 2040
  • a slow decline in electricity production from the Bełchatów Power Plant by 2040 to the level of about 50-55% of current production
  • a possibility of local hydrogen production in the Bełchatów plant, the creation of a national hydrogen centre and consequently – a long-term maintenance of energy functions, as well as economic and social development in the Bełchatów Power Plant area

The scenario:

  • gradual replacement of lignite by natural gas
  • progressive increase of the admixture of hydrogen to natural gas
  • elimination of all lignite blocks – except for the latest one – by the end of 2030
  • elimination of the last lignite block by the end of 2035
  • optional: a construction of a hydrogen storage facility and/or three low power nuclear reactors for hydrogen production

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