With a population of 38 million, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growing at 3.9%, almost half of all land used for agriculture, and being a net energy importer, Poland has the feedstock, workforce, growing economy, and commitment to environmentally sustainable growth needed to foster a thriving biogas sector.
Agricultural biogas plants in particular, supported by a new energy auction, are expected to drive biogas growth in Poland.
- There are currently 301 digesters with a total installed capacity of 234 MW operating in Poland
- There is a fairly even distribution of plants running on wastewater/sewage, agricultural (by)products/residues, and landfill gas.
- Average installed capacity is less than 1 MW, with agricultural plants tending to be bigger than sewage and landfill-gas plants.
- There are no known plants that upgrade biogas to biomethane in Poland.
- Feedstocks for agricultural digesters in Poland constitute manure (25%), fruit and vegetable residue (20%), distillery waste (18%), maize silage (17%), and beet pulp (8%).
There is currently the potential to produce 2 billion m3 of biogas or 1421 MW from waste streams: livestock manure (cows, pigs and poultry), sewage sludge, and food waste.
Current installed capacity is only 16% of current potential, meaning there is potential for the sector to grow six fold if all waste feedstocks become available and opportunities are taken from energy crops and
- Waste-based electricity production can power 2.3 million Polish homes every year, equivalent to 17% of all households.
- Total natural gas consumption in Poland is 17.66 billion m3 (2014), waste-based biogas can substitute 11% of this.
- Of the 347 landfills accepting municipal waste, 303 capture landfill gas, though only around 100 produce energy from it. Landfill gas is primarily released directly into the atmosphere or flared. There are also 1,978 illegal dumps in Poland. There is therefore huge potential in the waste management sector for reduction in landfill gas emissions and conversion of this gas into energy.
Interested in biogas in Poland? Have a look at the video we shot near Krakow!