Poland is currently a net electricity exporter with most of the power coming from aging coal fired power plants. More that 60% of the plants are in excess of 30 years old. Without significant investments, the nation’s excess generating capacity will be used up in just a few years because of growth in both population and in the overall economy.
The nation has little untapped hydroelectric potential. According to a report on the Financial Times web site (ft.com) titled Poland Power: How to keep the lights on nuclear power investments – both as a partner in a new plant in Lithuania and within Poland – are part of the overall plan for increasing capacity while still working to reduce overall emissions of greenhouse gases. Of course, with major coal deposits in readily accessible locations, it is a challenge for Poland to attract the necessary capital to build nuclear plants.
The country is also hampered by the overall size of its power companies – PGE (Polska Grupa Energetyczna) is the largest, but it’s total asset base is only valued at about $10 Billion (USD). Under current circumstances, it would be difficult for a company that size to build a new nuclear plants since most of the new plant designs available in the world market have total prices starting in excess of $2 Billion. Perhaps PGE is considering additional partnerships or smaller plants like the 165 MWe Pebble Bed Modular Reactor (PBMR) being developed in South Africa.