Heatwave causes prices to soar in Poland's coal-dominated grid

Polish grid operator PSE has warned that the heatwave in the country will be adversely affecting the operation of its predominately coal-fired power plant fleet and the grid. Cooling issues in several power stations have led to outages across the country. Poland is highly reliant on coal as a power source.

The outages have pushed wholesale power prices to record highs. Planned and unplanned outages on Monday caused offline capacity to hit 7.1GW. According to petrochemical market information portal ICIS, Tuesday’s power bourse saw power prices reach PLN484.37/MWh ($127.42) for baseload and $180.58/MWh for peaks. This peak price has tripled from the amount on the same day a week before. Neighboring countries like Czech Republic and Slovakia have been exporting electricity into Poland in higher numbers since the outages.

Poland also had to cut its electricity supply for industrial users for the first time in three decades according to Bloomberg. With the spot prices soaring, reduction in supply started yesterday in Warsaw. Households will not be affected and the government will extend the period of low supplies to companies until the end of this month according to what Economy Minister Janusz Piechocinski told reporters on Monday.

According to Reuters, Poland is not the only country facing higher power prices. The Czech Republic, Slovakia and Romania are also seeing spot price increases due to the hotter weather.

A comprehensive table of unplanned and planned outages in Poland can be found here.