Year 2020 was an operational challenge for the PGE Group due to the sharp decline in electricity consumption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, especially visible during the freezing of the economy in Q2 2020.
Activities during the pandemic required special organisation of work in plants dealing with the production of energy and heat to ensure the continuity of supplies. Despite the unfavorable conditions on the energy market, due to the commissioning of new units 5/6 in the Opole power plant, energy production in the Group’s generation assets remained at the previous year’s level.
President of the Management Board PGE Polska Grupa Energetyczna SA
In 2020, the energy sector operated in the difficult conditions of the pandemic. The efficiency of our operations depended not only on the safety of our employees and customers, but also on the reliability of electricity supplies and ensuring Poland’s energy security.
In 2020, the production volume from lignite decreased by 7% and amounted to 29.79 TWh, however, this fuel still remained the most important source of electricity in the PGE Group. At the same time, thanks to the operation of new units in the Opole power plant, the role of hard coal, from which we produced 20.21 TWh, has increased. More energy was also generated from low- and zero-emission sources (gas, wind, hydro and biomass power plants).
We measure production volumes in two ways: by fuel and by production units. Some of our units are multi-fuel (e.g. in coal-fired power plants small amounts of biomass are co-fired as a supplementary fuel, hence not all energy from a coal-fired power plant is produced from lignite).
Total RES production in the PGE Group amounted to 2.32 TWh and was 14% higher year on year. The volume of electricity production from renewable sources is calculated as the sum of energy production from wind, water and biomass (including co-firing in conventional power plants). The higher volume of energy production from RES was mainly related to the increase in the generation capacity of wind farms (in 2020, the Starza / Rybice and Karnice II wind farms with a total capacity of 97MW were commissioned and the Skoczykłody farm with a capacity of 36MW was acquired). Electricity produced in pumped storage (ESP) plants is not classified as RES production (it is in fact storage).
In 2020, electricity distribution became the largest business segment in terms of generated EBITDA. Last year, our networks supplied 35.67 TWh of electricity to nearly 5.5 million energy consumption points. Due to the increase in economic activity and GDP, the distribution volume has been steadily growing for years. In 2020, this trend was disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Energy consumption in the PGE distribution area decreased by 2% – on a scale similar to the electricity consumption in Poland. Long-term increase in demand and growing quality targets in electricity distribution require systematic investments in the network in order to meet the needs of consumers and the growing economy.
In 2020, extraction amounted to 39.9 million tonnes (decrease by 8% y/y). The volume of lignite production is closely related to the volume of electricity produced in power plants for which mines are a natural supplier.
Sales of electricity to final off-takers, including:
Households (G Tariff)
Business customers (A, B, C+R Tariffs)
Sales of heat
In 2020, the volume of heat sales by the PGE Group remained unchanged compared to 2019. The impact of higher average outdoor temperatures by 1.3° C y/y was compensated by a higher level of the ordered heat capacity.