Life Sciences and Agriculture

Polityka Energetyczna - Energy Policy Journal


Polityka Energetyczna - Energy Policy Journal | 2018 | vol. 21 | No 3 |


The paper looks at an analysis of the tendency of changes in the fuel structure of electricity

generation and thus resulting changes in carbon dioxide emissions. Forecasts drawn up by various

institutions and organizations were selected for the analysis. Firstly, on the basis of statistical data

contained in (IEA 2017a, IEA 2008) and with the use of Kay’s indicators, the impact of changes in

energy intensity of the national income and energy mix on changes in carbon dioxide emissions per

capita in 2006–2015 for the OECD countries and Poland were analyzed. A small effect of changes

was found in the fuel mix in this period of time on the emissions. The main impact was due to changes

in the energy intensity of the national income and changes in the national income per capita.

Next, selected fuel scenarios for the period up to 2050 (60) were discussed – WEC, IEA, EIA, BP,

Shell, with a focus on the WEC scenarios. These have been developed for various assumptions with

regard to the pace of economic development, population growth, and developments of the political

situation and the situation on the fuel market. For this reason, it is difficult to assess the reliability

thereof. The subject of the discussion was mainly the data on the fuel structure of electricity generation

and energy intensity of national income and changes in carbon dioxide emissions. The final

part of the paper offers a general analysis of forecasts drawn up for Poland. These are quite diverse,

with some of them being developed as part of drawing up the Energy Policy for Poland until 2050,

and some covering the period up to 2035. An observation has been made that some forecasts render

results similar to those characteristic of the WEC Hard Rock scenario.

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Intensive modernization and reconstruction of the energy sector takes place throughout the

world. The EU climate and energy policy will have a huge impact on the development of the energy

sector in the coming years. The European Union has adopted ambitious goals of transforming

towards a low-carbon economy and the integration of the energy market. In June 2015, the G7 countries

announced that they will move away from coal fired energy generation. Germany, which

has adopted one of the most ambitious energy transformation programs among all industrialized

countries, is leading these transformations. The long-term strategy, which has been implemented

for many years, allowed for planning the fundamental transformation of the energy sector; after the

Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, Germany opted for a total withdrawal from nuclear energy and

coal in favor of renewable energy. The German energy transformation is mainly based on wind and

solar energy. Germany is the fifth economic power in the world and the largest economy in Europe.

Therefore, the German energy policy affects the energy policy of the neighboring countries. The

article presents the main assumptions of the German energy policy (referred to as Energiewende).

It also presents the impact of changes in the German energy sector on the development of energy

systems in selected European countries.

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A significant part of hard coal production (15–19% in the years 2010–2017, i.e. 1.0–1.3 billion

tons per year) is traded on the international market. The majority of coal trade takes place by sea,

accounting for 91–94% of the total coal trade. The article discusses the share of coal in international

seaborne trade and the largest coal ports. Coal is one the five major bulk commodities (in addition

to iron ore, grain, bauxite, alumina, and phosphate rock). In the years 2010–2016, the share of coal

in international seaborne trade and major bulk commodities was 36–41% and 11–12%, respectively.

Based on the analysis of coal throughput in different ports worldwide, the ports with the

largest throughput include the ports of Qinhuangdao (China), Newcastle (Australia), and Richards

Bay (South Africa). For 2013–2017, their throughput amounted to a total of 411–476 million tons

of coal. The largest coal exporting countries were: Australia, Indonesia, Russia, Colombia, South

Africa, and the US (a total of 85% share in global coal exports), while the largest importers are

Asian countries: China, India, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan (a 64% share in global imports). In

Europe, Germany is the largest importer of coal (54 million tons imported in 2016). The article also

discusses the freight costs and the bulk carrier fleet. Taking the price of coal at the recipient’s (i.e.

at the importer’s port) into account, the share of freight costs in the CIF price of steam coal (the

price of a good delivered at the frontier of the importing country) was at the level of 10–14%. In

the years 2010–2016, the share of bulk carriers in the world fleet was in the range of 11–15%. In

terms of tonnage, bulk carriers accounted for 31–35% of the total tonnage of all types of ships in

the world. The share of new (1–4 years) bulk carriers in the total number of ships on a global scale

in the years 2010–2016 was 29–46%.

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The article presents the challenges faced by the hard coal mining sector in Poland. The biggest

challenge results from a decrease in the demand for coal, which was triggered mainly by the climate

policy, including the tightening of environmental standards and an increase in the efficiency of generating

units. The fundamental model of the MRÓWKA domestic coal market has been described.

The model allows for determining the marginal price of a given fuel for a given generating unit in

the system and the optimal mix of fuels to meet the energy demand. The results of the model calculations

for the baseline and alternative scenarios were presented. It has been shown that the optimal

distribution of coal mining capacities promotes the import of the discussed fuel in the north-eastern

part of the country and that the individual customer valuation leads to a decrease in the competitiveness

of the units located in the central-western part of the country. The paper also discusses the

potential impact of the domestic oversupply on the balance sheet and the price of coal. According

to the obtained results and the basic laws of economics, an oversupply of coal leads to a decrease

in prices. For the analyzed variants, the dependence of prices was estimated at PLN 0.0308 / GJ for

every million tons of the oversupply. The fall in prices is largely due to the fuel supply to units located

close to ports or railway border crossings. Based on the presented arguments it can be concluded

that the maximization of financial result from the extraction of coal should be based on an analysis

taking incremental changes in fuel prices into account.

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In recent years, changes have been made in the structure of primary energy use in the European

Union In addition, a reduction in the use of primary energy has also been observed. According to

the forecasts of the International Energy Agency, the European energy market will be subject to

further changes in the perspective of 2040. These may include the reduction of the energy consumption

and the change in the structure of the energy balance as a result pro-ecological activities.

Natural gas will be the only fossil energy carrier whose role in covering the energy demand will not

change. Along with the changes taking place in the European energy market, global changes can

also be observed. The EU Member States will continue to strive to diversify natural gas supplies.

One of the main elements of diversification of natural gas supplies is the use of LNG regasification

terminals. The reasons for that include the increasing production of natural gas, particularly in the

case of unconventional deposits, the ongoing development of liquefaction terminals, and, as a consequence,

an increase in the LNG supply in the global market. The article presents the utilization of

regasification terminals in the EU Member States and plans for the development of LNG terminals.

Europe has the opportunity to import natural gas through LNG terminals. However, until now,

these have been used to a limited extent. This may indicate that in addition to diversification tasks,

terminals can act as a safeguard against interruptions in gas supplies.

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Taking the importance of time and risk into account has a significant impact on the value of

investment projects. Investments in the energy sector are long-term projects and, as such, are burdened

with uncertainty associated with the long-term freezing of capital and obtaining the expected

return. In the power industry, this uncertainty is increased by factors specific to the sector,

including in particular changes in the political and legal environment and the rapid technological

development. In the case of discounted cash flow analysis (DCF), commonly used for assessing the

economic efficiency of investments, the only parameter expressing investor uncertainty regarding

investment opportunities is the discount rate, which increases with the increasing risk of the project.

It determines the value of the current project, thus becoming an important criterion affecting

investors’ decisions. For this reason, it is of great importance for the assessment of investment

effectiveness. This rate, usually in the form of the weighted average cost of capital (WACC), generally

includes two elements: the cost of equity capital and borrowed capital. Due to the fluctuant

relationship between these two parameters in project financing, performing a WACC analysis in

order to compare the risks associated with the different technologies is not completely justified.

A good solution to the problem is to use the cost of equity. This article focuses on the analysis of this

cost as a measure of risk related to energy investments in the United States, Europe and worldwide.

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The paper describes factors influencing the development of electricity storage technologies.

The results of the energy analysis of the electric energy storage system in the form of hydrogen are

presented. The analyzed system consists of an electrolyzer, a hydrogen container, a compressor, and

a PEMFC fuel cell with an ion-exchange polymer membrane. The power curves of an electrolyzer

and a fuel cell were determined. The analysis took the own needs of the system into account, i.e. the

power needed to compress the produced hydrogen and the power of the air compressor supplying

air to the cathode channels of the fuel cell stack. The characteristics describing the dependence

of the efficiency of the energy storage system in the form of hydrogen as a function of load were

determined. The costs of electricity storage as a function of storage capacity were determined. The

energy aspects of energy accumulation in lithium-ion cells were briefly characterized and described.

The efficiency of the charge/discharge cycle of lithium-ion batteries has been determined. The

graph of discharge of the lithium-ion battery depending on the current value was presented. The key

parameters of battery operation, i.e. the Depth of Discharge (DoD) and the State of Charge (SoC),

were determined. Based on the average market prices of the available lithium-ion batteries for the

storage of energy from photovoltaic cells, unit costs of electrochemical energy storage as a function

of the DoD parameter were determined.

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The paper presents the impact of the reformed EU ETS (Emission Trading Scheme – ETS in

the European Union) on the currently operating market for trading in CO2 emission allowances.

The new Directive introduced a number of changes aimed at tightening the climate policy, which

the Polish energy sector based mainly on hard coal may mean an increase in the costs of electricity

production, and thus an increase in the cost of the entire economy.

The main goal of the changes is to achieve one of the objectives the European Union has set for itself,

i.e. the reduction of CO2 emissions by 40% until the year 2030. These assumptions are the result of

joint arrangements of the EU countries under the Paris Agreement on climate change adopted in 2015.

The Directive introduces a new market stability reserve mechanism (MSR) which, according to its

assumptions, is designed to ensure a demand and supply balance of the ETS. Bearing the balance in

mind, it means the reduction of excess allowances, which, although their number is decreasing, it is

decreasing to slowly according to EU legislators, still oscillating around 2 billion EUA.

The paper also draws attention to the rigorous assumptions adopted in the new Directive, aimed at

increasing the price of CO2, that is the costs in electricity production. Due to manually-controlled

prices, are we doomed to high CO2 prices and therefore the prices of electricity? What are its estimated

maximum levels? Will the new assumptions encourage the Member States to switch to lowcarbon

technologies? Can they weaken the economies of countries that are currently based mainly

on coal energy sources, and strengthen countries where green energy is developed?

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The paper looks at the issues of operation safety of the national power grid and the characteristics

of the national power grid in the areas of transmission and distribution. The issues of

operation safety of the national transmission and distribution grid were discussed as well as threats

to operation safety and security of the electricity supply related to these grids. Failures in the

transmission and distribution grid in 2017, caused by extreme weather conditions such as: a violent

storm at the night of 11/12.08.2017, hurricane Ksawery on 5–8.10.2017, and hurricane Grzegorz on

29–30.10.2017, the effects of which affected tens of thousands of electricity consumers and led to

significant interruptions in the supply of electricity were presented. At present, the national power

(transmission and distribution) grid does not pose a threat to the operation safety and security of

the electricity supply, and is adapted to the current typical conditions of electricity demand and the

performance of tasks during a normal state of affairs, but locally may pose threats, especially in

extreme weather conditions. A potentially high threat to the operation safety of the national power

grid is closely linked to: age, technical condition and the degree of depletion of the transmission and

distribution grids, and their high failure rate due to weather anomalies. Therefore, it is necessary

to develop and modernize the 400 and 220 kV transmission grids, cross-border interconnections,

and the 110 kV distribution grid (especially in the area of large urban agglomerations), and the MV

distribution grid (especially in rural areas). The challenges faced by the transmission and distribution

grid operators within the scope of investment and operating activities, with a view to avoiding

or at least reducing the scale of grid failures in the case of future sudden high-intensity atmospheric

phenomena, are presented.

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The new legislative provisions, regulating the solid fuel trade in Poland, and the resolutions of

provincial assemblies assume, inter alia, a ban on the household use of lignite fuels and solid fuels

produced with its use; this also applies to coal sludge, coal flotation concentrates, and mixtures

produced with their use. These changes will force the producers of these materials to find new

ways and methods of their development, including their modification (mixing with other products

or waste) in order to increase their attractiveness for the commercial power industry. The presented

paper focuses on the analysis of coal sludge, classified as waste (codes 01 04 12 and 01 04 81)

or as a by-product in the production of coals of different types. A preliminary analysis aimed at

presenting changes in quality parameters and based on the mixtures of hard coal sludge (PG SILESIA)

with coal dusts from lignite (pulverized lignite) (LEAG) has been carried out. The analysis

of quality parameters of the discussed mixtures included the determination of the calorific value,

ash content, volatile matter content, moisture content, heavy metal content (Cd, Tl, Hg, Sb, As, Pb,

Cr, Co, Cu, Mn, Ni, and W), and sulfur content. The preliminary analysis has shown that mixing

coal sludge with coal dust from lignite and their granulation allows a product with the desired quality

and physical parameters to be obtained, which is attractive to the commercial power industry.

Compared to coal sludge, granulates made of coal sludge and coal dust from lignite with or without

ground dolomite have a higher sulfur content (in the range of 1–1.4%). However, this is still an

acceptable content for solid fuels in the commercial power industry. Compared to the basic coal

sludge sample, the observed increase in the content of individual toxic components in the mixture

samples is small and it therefore can be concluded that the addition of coal dust from lignite or carbonates

has no significant effect on the total content of the individual elements. The calorific value

is a key parameter determining the usefulness in the power industry. The size of this parameter for

coal sludge in an as received basis is in the range of 9.4–10.6 MJ/kg. In the case of the examined

mixtures of coal sludge with coal dust from lignite, the calorific value significantly increases to

the range of 14.0–14.5 MJ/kg (as received). The obtained values increase the usefulness in the

commercial power industry while, at the same time, the requirements for the combustion of solid

fuels are met to a greater extent. A slight decrease in the calorific value is observed in the case of

granulation with the addition of CaO or carbonates. Taking the analyzed parameters into account,

it can be concluded that the prepared mixtures can be used in the combustion in units with flue gas

desulfurization plants and a nominal thermal power not less than 1 MW. At this stage of work no

cost analysis was carried out.

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Editorial office

Editorial Board
  • Editor-in-Chief: Eugeniusz Mokrzycki
  • Deputy Editor-in-Chief: Lidia Gawlik (section: utilization of energy resources)
  • Editorial Secretary: Katarzyna Stala-Szlugaj (section: fuels and energy)
  • Deputy Editorial Secretary: Jacek Kamiński (section: energy)
  • Statistical Editor: Jacek Mucha
Advisory Board
  • Rolf Bracke, Professor, The International Geothermal Centre Hochschule, Bochum, Germany
  • Tadeusz Chmielniak, DSc(Eng), Professor, The Silesian University of Technology, Gliwice, Poland
  • Mariusz Filipowicz, DSc(Eng), Associate Professor, The AGH University of Science and Technology, Kraków, Poland
  • Anatoliy Goncharuk, Professor, The International Humanitarian University, Odessa, Ukraine
  • Ernst Huenges, Professor, The GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Potsdam, Germany
  • Louis Jestin, Adjunct Professor, The University of Cape Town, Rondebosch, RSA
  • Gudni Johannesson, PhD(Eng), Orkustofnun, The Icelandic National Energy Authority, Reykjavik, Iceland
  • Jacek Marecki, DSc(Eng), Professor, Gdańsk University of Technology, Gdańsk, Poland
  • Nuria Rabanal, PhD, The University of Leon, Leon, Spain
  • Jakub Siemek, DSc(Eng), Professor, The AGH University of Science and Technology, Kraków, Poland
  • Jan Soliński, PhD, Polish Member of the Committee of the WEC, Warsaw, Poland
  • Namejs Zeltins, DSc(Eng), Professor, The Institute of Physical Energetics, Riga, Latvia
Publishing Committee
  • Emilia Rydzewska – linguistic editor (Polish)
  • Michelle Atallah – linguistic editor (English)
  • Beata Stankiewicz – technical editor


Mineral and Energy Economy Research Institute of the Polish Academy of Sciences
J. Wybickiego 7A, 31-261 Kraków,
Phone: (+48) 12 632 33-00, Fax: +48 12 632 35-24,

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