Between 2011 and 2013, heat production in district heating has been decreasing in Poland as a result of the thermo-modernisation process in existing buildings and a very small market for new developments. After 2013, the residential investment market grew a little, but new investments are concentrated in own energy power plants on a micro scale. From 2013 to 2015, the total district heating sales to customers slightly decreased from 67.7 TWh to 60.1 TWh. There has been a steady expansion of district heating networks, reaching a total length of around 20,460 km by 2015.
As shown in the graph below, district heating systems cover approximately 41% of heat demand of the Polish residential sector. About 43% of buildings are still heated by individual heating and stove installations using solid fuels, mainly coal. Heat pumps are used on a small scale to provide heat and warm water with a minor share of 1%. In 2015, around 70% of district heat was generated from direct renewable sources and recycled heat.
Poland invested 1,068.9 million EUR in district heating in 2015. Poland’s electricity policy until 2030 assumes a two-fold increase in production of electric energy generated by highly-efficient co-generation by 2020, as compared to 2006. The share of electricity generated in highly efficient CHP plants is constant around 18-19%.
During the last ten years, district cooling applications have been installed in industrial contexts, mainly for air cooling in mines, as well as for cooling industrial structures, and heat and power facilities. This has resulted in capacity growing significantly by six times in four years, increasing from 7 MWth in 2009 to 43 MWth in 2013. However, in the period between 2013 and 2015, the situation of the district cooling sector in Poland has remained unchanged.