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Energy - Poland


Oathbreaker 3 | 434
14 Sep 2021 #1
Didn't know which topic category it's classified for so I put it in off topic.

Ive started to work in the energy sector now, and would like to hear as much as possible from everyone about energy in Poland.

Electrical power (from sun rays/charcoal/gas/oil/lumber/whatever)

Wood (chopping wood, fireplace etc)
Gas (gas canisters etc for cars, heating, stoves etc)
Charcoal/coal (heating from ovens, grills etc)
Nuclear (uranium, thorium)
Air (windmills)
Water (waterfalls etc)

Pros/cons

Here is my list:

Lumber:
+increases fitness by physical labour
+ cosy feeling from fireplace
+ a lot of forests in Poland

- costly long run
- can't be used on a large scale cause of ecology

Air:
+ apart from high technological requirements= "free energy"
- maintenance
- Poland has mostly flat lands

Water:
Same problem with air and huge lack of waterfalls

Nuclear:
-lack of technology
- possible catastrophy (international scale)
+ energy independance
+ possibility of nuclear arsenal

Gas:
+most Poles are used to it
- if gas from international trade becomes lacking, then dependancy on Russia increases

Charcoal/coal:
-Political problem cause of coalminers
- expensive
-non-ecological

Solar panels:
+Own energy production (you own the panels yourself)
- only heating

Fotowoltaical panels:
+ own energy production
+ all electrical
+ ecological
- takes up considerable space roof/ground
+/- salespeople can't bother one anymore (depends if you like visitors or not)
Bobko 10 | 205
14 Sep 2021 #2
One note - there is, at this time, no thorium fuel used in the commercial nuclear industry anywhere in the world.

Otherwise, you've answered a lot of the questions yourself here. My personal belief is that the West (at large), and Poland specifically, are being completely delusional at this moment in trying to completely diversify away from hydrocarbons. The weather over Poland means wind turbines and solar panels will never be able to cover 100% of needs, and that traditional generation will continue to have an important role in the overall energy mix. For this, investment needs to happen at an appropriate pace, but at the moment it seems the climate camp has the upper hand and western corporations are being shamed by governments and shareholders into scrapping exploration and extraction CAPEX. All this means is a shifting of power to Russia and the Middle East, where people still have enough common sense to continue developing these resources.
OP Oathbreaker 3 | 434
14 Sep 2021 #3
The weather over Poland means wind turbines and solar panels will never be able to cover 100% of needs

I understand the weather argument for windmills cause of wind, but how come weather is bad for solar panels? It's enough sun in the summer, then it's stored by batteries (either energy suppliers or own energy storage if you are rich enough)
jon357 67 | 17,501
14 Sep 2021 #4
Air (windmills)

Very few domestic ones of the kind you see on farmhouses elsewhere. Policy and legislation make them difficult to the point of rarity.

The meters are only one-way too; as far as I know you can't just get a two-way meter and sell surplus electricity to the grid.

Charcoal

Barbecues only.

As for coal, the miners are a strong voting block.
Bobko_V - | 2
14 Sep 2021 #5
Sorry, just had to create a new log-in after forgetting my phone at work, and then the email I used years ago to create old Bobko....

To be honest, I wasn't going off anything concrete in saying that Poland is not well suited for solar. In terms of wind - I know that certain "distance regulations" have made it so that it's not likely many new wind turbines will be built in Poland (at least until the regulations are scrapped). These are regulations that basically state that wind turbines must be placed at a distance that is 9-10x their height from the nearest buildings/infrastructure/etc. In practice, this has meant that 99% of Poland's territory is ineligible for these developments. I know there is strong pressure from business and certain politicians to reverse this policy, but don't know what progress has been made.

So back to solar - my assumption about Poland's less than optimal suitability for it was simply based on the fact that the country is located more or less in the north of Europe with all that that entails. Frequent cloud coverage, short days in winter, etc. The difference in day length throughout the year means enormous amounts of redundant capacity in both generation and storage will be required if you want to be 100%-wind and solar. To me, this means that this will never happen.

As for coal, the miners are a strong voting block.

Yes, one would expect this when they account for more than half of the country's total energy needs, and 3/4 of all electricity generation inside the country. What's a real pity is that they are not needed. The coal they mine is uneconomical, and it's continued extraction is only made possible by deep govt subsidies. Would be better for Poland's environment if this coal was simply imported from the US, Russia, or SA where folks are mining it at scale and profitably.
Bobko 10 | 205
15 Sep 2021 #6
Truly, there is an inverse relationship between the time people spend discussing a subject and it's complexity/importance. If it's another retarded discussion between JohnnyReb and Maf, it'll make a thread a 1,000 posts long. If it's something material to actual business life in Poland, or anything that matters to real people - opinions dry up. Some popular sociologist once created a model for this, based on an imagined example of discussions around the construction of a new nuclear power plant. The less intellectually taxing the discussion - the more opinions - since everyone wants to "contribute" with their two cents worth of ****, while the more complex it is the more deafening the silence.
OP Oathbreaker 3 | 434
16 Sep 2021 #7
@Bobko
Also the time people can afford to post

The coal miners being a strong voting block is the largest barrier for energy improvement in Poland. Also people being tired with constant innovations (smartphones, new tech in general)
OP Oathbreaker 3 | 434
19 Sep 2021 #8
google.com/amp/s/biznes.radiozet.pl/amp/full/46649/News/Ceny-pradu-w-gore.-Enea-chce-wzrostu-taryfy-nawet-o-40-procent

If it's true, then price for electricity will increase by 40% latest news.
Alien 2 | 223
19 Sep 2021 #9
I am afraid it is true. E-cars and NS 2 and so on. The price will increase.
OP Oathbreaker 3 | 434
19 Sep 2021 #10
@Alien
Can you widen out the E-cars argument? Cause I don't understand
Alien 2 | 223
19 Sep 2021 #11
We will need much more electricity in future to charge our cars. And charging is not so effective and never will be.
OP Oathbreaker 3 | 434
29 Sep 2021 #12
@Alien
Depends, if technology regarding how cars would be charged changes? I didn't even imagine smartphones growing up.

Even when I now am out of the industry, I am quite certain that the nuclear option is first and foremost expensive (state will have to have influence over this) while the state budget won't have to use a groszy if panels will be distributed and sold by private companies.

Problem is that low quality firms offer bad quality panels which can lead to hazardous situations
jon357 67 | 17,501
29 Sep 2021 #13
if technology regarding how cars would be charged changes?

Of one thing, we can be very very certain. That technology always changes and always will.

I didn't even imagine smartphones growing up.

Some of didn't imagine mobile phones at all. When they first appeared, people (including me) wondered where the cable went.
johnny reb 31 | 5,725
29 Sep 2021 #14
If it's true, then price for electricity will increase by 40% latest news.

Oh it's true alright.

We will need much more electricity in future to charge our cars.

It takes more carbon produced energy to make electricity to charge an electric car than it does to run a vehicle on gasoline.
They have had the technology for at least the last 60 years to mix hydrogen with gasoline to increase gas mileage in a vehicle by more than double.

The big three bought that patent and locked it away in a vault.
My question is if we are having blackouts and brownouts in the peak of summer with all the a/c's running ......what are we going to do when we have a 100 million cars charging off that electrical grid ?

And solar is not efficient for M.O.R. (money on return)
Poland needs to suck it up for the near future and finish that damn nuclear plant that they started.
jon357 67 | 17,501
29 Sep 2021 #15
They have had the technology for at least the last 60 years

The big three bought that patent

Does anybody here (not Jim, who does not have permission to address me) know how long patents last over there?
johnny reb 31 | 5,725
29 Sep 2021 #16
(And you don't have permission to quote me. lol)

Nuclear:
-lack of technology
- possible catastrophy (international scale)
+ energy independance
+ possibility of nuclear arsenal

Those are horrible excuses and almost laughable.
Who lacks technology as Poland has been offered all kinds of technology by their allies.
Possible catastrophe just like the rest of the world that has nuke plants.
What 'if'' there is a nuclear war which is much more probable the way things are going. Suck it up Poland.
(how many people are dying now in Poland because of respiratory problems and acid rain poisoning the water and air that coal causes ?)
How do you tie a nuclear arsenal to a nuclear power plant ? lol
I say to Poland, "You can't have your cake, ice cream and eat it too."
pawian 179 | 16,285
29 Sep 2021 #17
Water: huge lack of waterfalls

No need for waterfalls coz dams do the job and there are quite a few in Poland - big and small. However, a problem occurs in drought spells - there is not enough water to propel the turbines in the dam. I read about it several times during recent droughts.



Atch 16 | 3,359
30 Sep 2021 #18
In fact you don't even need dams - there are different ways to generate hydro electricity. But the right kind of natural geography makes a big differrence to the amount of energy you can generate through a hydro electric facility. It's a clean source of energy but it's not without impact on the environment. But that's true of any civil engineering project.

drought spells

Ironically one of the reasons for drought in Poland is the amount of water used by the coal mining industry. Actually some hydro plants in Poland are located in mining regions so I wonder if it would be possible to re-employ former miners in the hydro field?

Anyway, hydro power on its own is not enough to supply all the nation's electricity. A mixture of sources would still be needed.

The major stumbling block to addressing sustainable energy issues in Poland is, as always, the politicians (and I include all parties in that) who spend half their time engaged in petty bickering, squabbling, exchanging personal insults and seeking to discredit each other. As for PIS the other half of their time is spent trying to create the impression that they're actually doing something by fiddling around with things that have already been done eg reforming the education system, reforming the courts, reforming abortion laws - all retrograde actions, cheap, quick, easy. No real thought, effort or planning required. Lazy, lazy, lazy and incompetent.
gumishu 11 | 5,761
30 Sep 2021 #19
Actually some hydro plants in Poland are located in mining regions

you are talking nonsense Atch - no hydro plant is located in mining areas - also coal mining doesn't use up water - it just pumps it out from the pits/mines into rivers

you should sometimes think twice before saying some other people are incompetent

also mining areas comprise about 5 per cent of the Polish territory - the drought in Poland in recent years was caused simply by smaller than usual rainfall (and also higher than usual temperatures)
jon357 67 | 17,501
30 Sep 2021 #20
some hydro plants in Poland are located in mining regions

Yes. The two in Silesia are very effective, and the bigger one of them has been generating electricity since the 1930s or maybe earlier.

possible to re-employ former miners in the hydro field?

Yes and no. Mining involves large workforces, hydro involves small workforces and the skill sets do differ. Speaking as someone from a mining area (27 pits in and around my town until the Grantham Vampire closed them) I also feel that anyone who's ever toiled down a pit deserves very early retirement and a very big pension. For those who aren't faceworkers, their skill sets are generally transferable to other industries however of course in mining areas when the pits go, every other employment from shop assistant to local journalist goes too and the issue is complex and invariably involves either massive state subsidies or sadly as in my area, soup kitchens. Some of us even emigrate to Poland.

here are different ways to generate hydro electricity

People often forget how useful water mills are. Small ones are easy to set up on any stream with a strong enough current (forget mill ponds and mill races; they were a solution for flatter areas) and they're way more effective than either solar or wind.
Atch 16 | 3,359
30 Sep 2021 #21
no hydro plant is located in mining areas

Well there are a couple of coal mines in Małopolska and there are a couple of hydro electric power plants in the region too.

coal mining doesn't use up water

Depending on the way it's used a lot of it is lost in the cooling process.

smaller than usual rainfall

Oddly enough, the total annual rainfall is the same but there are longer dry periods and there is a fair amount of water mismanagement - so we're back to the old incompetence thing again.

There are serious environmental issues in Poland, air quality, drought, destruction of the ecosystem - all these things will eventually impact the country economically and it won't take many more years either for that to happen. Meanwhile PIS fiddles while Rome burns.
gumishu 11 | 5,761
30 Sep 2021 #22
then it's stored by batteries

no one has so far discovered batteries that would store enough energy that would supply a domestic household a mere month and you are talking about half of the year
jon357 67 | 17,501
30 Sep 2021 #23
solar batteries that would store enough energy

Which is why hydro is so effective, however solar does have immense value and of course the technology around it continually develops.
gumishu 11 | 5,761
30 Sep 2021 #24
there are a couple of coal mines in Małopolska and there are a couple of hydro electric power plants in the region too.

all those hydro plants in Małopolska are located in the Karpathian mountains and are far from coal-bearing regions - trust me - I know Polish geography quite well

there is a dam in the Silesian coal-bearing region (Goczałkowice on the Wisła river) -but it's main purpose is to supply parts of Silesia with water - (I don't know if there are any power generators there but even if there are they are a minor source)

is lost in the cooling process.

you probably mean electricity generating from burning coal (or lignite) - yes the energetic sector uses up some whater but the biggest Polish coal plants are located on the major rivers (and yes severe hydrological drought may cause disruptions in their work) - they are also located all around Poland -

if you claim that Poland has not prepared for severe droughts (and blame PiS for that) I'd like to point you to a severe drought in Germany and Sweden in 2018 (even Ireland experienced an odd drought that year if I recall correctly) - would you say that they have prepared well for such an occurrence in those countries
jon357 67 | 17,501
30 Sep 2021 #25
all those

Why 'all those'? There's only a couple as you were told by Atch.

Of course the two in Silesia are somewhat closer to coal mines. One has been generating electricity since 1937.
gumishu 11 | 5,761
30 Sep 2021 #26
however solar does have immense value

solar plants are perfectly ok in Sahara, hydroelectric power is grand for Norway - however Poland had neither the reliable sunshine nor enough hydroelectric potential -

even combining the two (as in pumping water from a lower level reservoir to a higher level reservoir during the day to supply energy at night) won't be enough for Polish economy

- (nota bene - the two reservoir method was used in the past in exactly the opposite manner - to fill up the upper reservoir at night so electricity was produced during the time of heaviest usage ie. during the day(industry) and evening(homesteads)
jon357 67 | 17,501
30 Sep 2021 #27
solar plants are perfectly ok in Sahara,

Which is why they're built there and why undersea cables are currently being laid to connect the Sahara to Europe. They also work on a small scale in Poland, and as the climate changes and technology develops will steadily work even more effectively.

as in pumping water from a lower level reservoir to a higher level reservoir

Did you see what I wrote about mill ponds and mill races? They aren't by a long chalk the best way to do hydro. As far as I know, the two hydro plants in Silesia, especially the big one, don't use that system.

Poland doesn't lack hydro, and worth mentioning that the country's first president was a hydro engineer.
johnny reb 31 | 5,725
30 Sep 2021 #28
Just wait until electric prices double in the near future and Poland will be begging to finish the nuclear plant that they started.
Is there any other option or is Poland going to keep wishing in one hand with "what if's" while electric prices double.
That for sure will be a plus to encourage people to buy electric cars in Poland not mention heating with clean electricity.
Stubborn Polish people............. :-(
gumishu 11 | 5,761
30 Sep 2021 #29
As far as I know, the two hydro plants in Silesia,

the Porąbka dam is used as a lower reservoir and there is an upper reservoir called Żar (they are in the current Silesian voievodship)

Poland doesn't lack hydro,

Poland has limited amound of hydroenergetic potential in the same manner as Sahara
jon357 67 | 17,501
30 Sep 2021 #30
Yes, and designed in part by Professor Narutowicz personally, an expert in all types of hydro.

Hydro is a very Polish thing.

Great that you've googled it. You may learn something.


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