We are aware of the fact that our activities, just as any human activity, naturally interfere with the environment. We pursue economic activities in accordance with existing legal regulations and other requirements, including environmental protection norms. We want to be an eco-friendly company operating in full harmony with the environment and promoting sustainable development.

Clean air, clean neighbourhood

Electricity and heat production from fossil fuels affects the natural environment, which is why we attach great importance to minimising our impact on the environment.

We pay special attention to the development of district heating as we know its positive impact on improving the air quality and the environment. Heat deriving from urban networks is one of the most efficient methods of limiting smog, which – especially in the autumn and winter seasons – is a problem of many Polish cities. Studies show that, depending on the location, one of the main sources of smog is individual heating of buildings with low quality fuels. Heat for space heating, instead of household furnaces, is generated in highly-efficient combined heat and power plants equipped with efficient denitrification, desulphurisation and dust filtering systems. In addition, the co-generation process features the production of electricity, which makes the fuel energy be more efficiently processed and used.

We pay special attention in our activities to co-operation with local authorities and mutually fight the smog problem to improve the residents’ quality of life.

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PGE is the biggest Polish producer and supplier of district heat

The PGE Group cares about partner relations with local authorities and local distributors, thanks to which it develops solutions that are beneficial for clients. By 2023, the Group plans to manage networks at 2/3 of our CHP locations.

The PGE Group’s District Heating Strategy is a response to the need to improve air quality in cities through massive connections to the heating network and the elimination of old, inefficient and environmentally polluting coal furnaces.

The strategy envisions the following developments:

  • Over 100,000 of replaced heat sources in individual heating by 2030,
  • Investment decisions for natural gas by 2025 at the latest; in subsequent years, necessary commercialization of zero-emission fuels (e.g. green hydrogen) or electrification of heating,
  • Over 70% share of zero- and low-emission sources in heat production until 2030,
  • New installations for thermal waste treatment.

In 2020, on local heat markets, PGE Energia Ciepła connected to the municipal heating networks a record 223 MWt. It is as if a whole city of the size of Gorzów Wielkopolski was con nected to a heating system in one year.

On markets where PGE Energia Ciepła is only a heat producer 147 MWt have been connected, whereas where it operates as an integrated entity and is also a heat distributor, 76 MWt have been connected. 3/4 of connections were carried out in 3 large cities: Kraków, Wrocław and Gdańsk. On the primary market, that is, to newly constructed buildings to which heat flows for the first time, PGE Energia Ciepła connected 162 MWt. However, on the secondary market, i.e. for buildings that have converted heat supply into a municipal heating network, it connected 61 MWt.

223 MWt
Connections to municipality heating networks in 2020
Connections carried out in Kraków, Wrocław, and Gdańsk
162 MWt
Connections on the primary market
61 MWt
Connections on the secondary market

In Siechnice, in place of the current, more than 100-year-old coal-fired CHP plant, a modern low-emission gas-fired unit will be built, with an electric capacity of 179.4 MWe and a thermal capacity of 314.9 MWt. The heat and power plant will consist of a gas and steam unit, a peak load-reserve boiler house and a heat accumulator. The contract for the construction of a heat and power plant with a service contract is for the amount of approx. PLN 1.3 billion net. The project schedule provides for the commissioning of the CCGT unit in the second quarter of 2024.

The new EC Czechnica will be powered by gas, a fuel that is more environmentally friendly than the coal used today in the currently operating plant. As a result, the reduction of CO2 emissions per year will fall by as much as 622 thousand tons. It also means savings on primary energy at the level of 599,000 MWh per year, which is figuratively speaking, we will additionally avoid burning about 100,000 tons of coal. There will be no need to deliver coal to the CHP plant by rail, or biomass by road, which will certainly have a positive impact on the environment as well as be more friendly to the local community.

Irrespective of the development plans, we are continuously investing in our existing assets and the majority of these investments are directly or indirectly related to improving the quality of air and protecting the natural environment.

Consistent investment in our generation assets results in their environmental footprint being minimised. By using best available technologies, we strive for further improvement. In 1989-2019, the Group’s power plants: Bełchatów, Opole, Turów and Dolna Odra, reduced emissions as follows: SO2 by 95%, NOx by 63 %, particulate matter by 99%:

NOx, SO2 and particulate matter emissions (in kg/MWh) at PGE’s power plants

PGE’s installations operate in compliance with IED emission standards or use derogation mechanisms. Derogation is intended to give existing installations additional time to technically adapt to the more rigorous emission requirements specified in the IED or exempt them from the requirement to observe these if modernising such a facility would be unjustified due to a limited expected life-cycle. We also began an adaptation programme for BAT/BREF standards, taking into account the best available technologies. The Bełchatów Power Plant, which is key for Poland’s energy security, is intensely preparing for the entry into force of even more strict standards. It features modernisations aimed at further limitation of nitrogen oxide, sulphur compounds and dust emissions as well as increase in generation effectiveness.

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Emissions by PGE GiEK’s power plants in 2020 vs permitted norms

Development programs supporting energy transformation

The PGE Group conducts research and implements development programs that, thanks to the latest technologies and solutions, support our core business
and at the same time implement the PGE Group Environmental Policy. These include:

  • The program for adjusting generating units to the requirements of the BAT/ BREFconclusions,
  • The Pilot Program for Energy Storage.

A list of development projects is available here.

 The program for adapting generating units to the requirements of the BAT / BREF conclusions was launched by the PGE Group at the beginning of 2019. Since then, five research and development projects have been launched:

  • research on the impact of targeted bromine salt mixtures on the reduction of mercury emissions in the exhaust gas of Turów Power Plant,
  • testing the effectiveness of the use of selected types of powdered sorbents to reduce mercury emissions at the Bełchatów Power Plant,
  • activated carbon production technology and its dosage method to reduce mercury emissions,
  • developing low-input methods for increasing the efficiency of flue gas desulfurization installations;
  • implementing heavy metal removal technology in InnUPS technology,

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