Survey of Energy Resources 2007
Geothermal Country Notes
Poland has substantial resources of geothermal energy, but not at high temperatures. The available resource ranges from reservoir temperatures of 30°C to 130°C at depths of 1 to 4 km.
Although thermal water has been used for balneological purposes for many centuries, development of geothermal power for heating has only taken place during the past 15 years or so. Both the Strategy of Renewable Energy Resources Development which came into effect in 2000 and Polish membership of the European Union in 2004 have helped to encourage the growth of renewable energy use in general, but greater promotion of geothermal energy is needed.
Three heating plants were installed in the period 1992-1999 in the Podhale region (near Zakopane), in Pyrzyce (near Szczecin) and in Mszczonów (near Skierniewice). Two further heating plants came into operation in 2001 (Uniejow) and 2002 (Slomniki). Some of the geothermal units work in conjunction with heat pumps and/or fossil-fuelled boilers.
Geothermal water is mainly used for heating purposes. The bulk of the capacity installed for direct heating is utilised for district heating, with much smaller amounts for bathing and swimming, greenhouse heating, fish farming and wood drying. The number of ground-source heat pumps has grown steadily and capacity now stands at about 53 MWt.
At the present time it is not foreseen that geothermal heat will be utilised for traditional electricity generation. However, there is an interest in studying binary plants which would be based on 90+°C water.