Energy Storage and Demand Management Offer a Solution to the Problem Polish Officials Keep Raising: They Just Don't Want to Face it

The constant complaint of all Polish politicians has been that renewable energy is intermittent. Besides the fundamentally fact-challenged premise that this is a problem with Poland's relatively low mix of renewables,*  the best solutions to this problem with a higher portion of renewable energy in the mix (as well as unreliable coal-fired plants like in Poland) is demand management (differential rates that push more users into non-peak periods) and energy storage.

Near the Polish border, a new German project will create a 16 MW energy storage facility to manage the even flow of electricity to the local grid. "W Chemnitz powstanie duży magazyn energii,", March 8, 2017. Nothing like this is even in planning stages in Poland. 

For misplaced political reasons, Polish politicians continue to think that coal is both reliable and cost-effective to produce electricity. They are alone in Europe in this viewpoint. It may not be realistic to switch off the coal plants in the near-term, but the long-term needs demand diversification of the energy mix and some modern thinking. 

* A recent study debunked the theory that wind energy in Poland is causing problems with maintaining an adequate reserve. Polecki et al. "Analysis of the impact of wind generation on the level of power reserves in the National Power System, " Energy Market February 2017.


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