Geothermal could cover half of Poland’s heat demand
Despite the estimated great potential of geothermal in Poland, development lags, but is now seeing more government funding aimed at pushing development.
Geothermal energy is an area of ??energy that has not developed very dynamically in Poland, although it has enormous potential, so local news in the country last week. For several years, the amount of energy obtained from the Earth’s interior has basically not increased, and the implementation of individual investments takes years.
Geothermal energy is a topic that is not talked about much on a daily basis. When it comes to renewable energy sources, we usually think of mainly wind and solar farms . Meanwhile, the potential lies deep underground, but it is not sufficiently used.
The National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management announced an increase in expenditure on the development of geothermal energy in Poland. The program “Providing access to thermal waters in Poland” will receive not PLN 300 million (EUR 64 m), but PLN 480 million (EUR 102 m), which means that during the current second recruitment, Polish municipalities will be able to apply for subsidies in the total amount not of PLN 70 million, but PLN 250 million (EUR 53 million).
“Geothermal energy gives “clean”, emission-free energy, which is particularly important in our intensive efforts to protect the climate and improve air quality in the country. At the same time, it is a very stable energy source, independent of the seasons and weather conditions, and also neutral for the landscape”, said the Minister of Climate and Environment, Anna Moskwa.
There is potential in geothermal energy. But there is no action in sight
Unfortunately, geothermal energy in Poland is not developing too quickly, and it is certainly not at the rate that was assumed ten years ago. This is perfectly illustrated by the report of the Supreme Audit Office, which compared the actual state of geothermal energy consumption to that assumed in the National Action Plan in the field of energy from renewable sources of 2010. In fact, nearly five times less geothermal energy was used in 2022 than assumed a decade ago.
NIK indicates that 94 percent. heat obtained from thermal waters in Poland came from heating plants built before 2015. Recently, investments in geothermal development have been increased, but we will have to wait for their effects.
According to Tomasz Ro?ek from the Nauka To Like channel, referring to Jerzy Nawrocki’s statement, geothermal energy, in the perspective of several dozen years, may be responsible for several percent of the energy consumed in our country. These words were said in 2009, and for several years there has not been much going on in terms of geothermal development – since 2015, not a single geothermal heating plant has been built in the country.
This does not mean that no projects are being implemented. The procedures for the construction of further facilities are on-going, but they are time-consuming. According to the NIK report, the average time to build a geothermal heating plant is about six years.
Moreover, geothermal CHP plants do not use their full potential. The calculations made by the Supreme Chamber of Control show that, in 2015-2020, none of the operating facilities used even half of their own potential.
Taking into account that, according to the Supreme Audit Office, geothermal resources in our country could cover even half of the heat demand in Poland, it is hard to believe that this technology has been developing at such a laborious pace for several years.