Wednesday, September 28, 2022

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A new IED could weaken Poland’s ability to provide security of electricity supply

The Polish Electricity Association (PKEE), while praising the European Commission’s attempts to review the Industrial Emissions Directive (IED) which sets emission caps for industrial activities, noted that the existing framework has already imposed significant obligations on electricity companies. A further increase of this burden would weaken their ability to provide security of electricity supply and to sustainably switch to less and zero- polluting technologies.

The Polish electricity sector is committed to reducing its environmental footprint and contributing to the achievement of the EU climate policy objectives and has already made significant investments. However, such investments were not included in the estimations according to which the transformation of the Polish electricity sector towards climate neutrality will require spending between 179 and 206 billion euros.

Therefore, the PKEE warned that any increased ambitions in the IED emission standards for large combustion plants (LCP) would put pressure on the sector to re-direct money from renewables investments to upgrade the existing plants to new standards.

Many EU companies have been granted a 4-year adjustment period during which they have to ensure compliance of their energy portfolios with the requirements. However, the fact that the adjustment of electricity facilities needs to be considered in the wider perspective of the whole electricity system has not been taken into account. This perspective makes it impossible to disconnect all power plants which require upgrades at the same time, as it would pose a threat to the security of supply. The PKEE is of the opinion that the transition period should be adapted to specific sectors in order to reflect their specific circumstances and obstacles.

Given the above, the Association recommended avoiding increasing the level of ambitions in terms of the associated emission levels already listed in the IED and restraining from establishing CO2 emission targets as well as from supplementing the existing EU ETS framework with the new IED objectives. Additionally, the PKEE urged to not to extend the scope of the IED to installations below the 50 MWe.

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