A glance at a map reveals a simple truth: Geographically speaking, Germany lies in the heart of Europe. Knowing that annual electricity demand in Germany is the highest in Europe, its generation fleet the largest, and its power system interconnected with ten countries with a total transfer capacity of almost 17 GW, one may wonder how anyone could claim that the Energiewende is purely a national endeavour. The opposite is true: German and European energy systems are heavily intertwined. Whatever happens in Germany has effects on its neighbours and vice versa. It is widely accepted that enhancing cooperation among European partners would create positive welfare effects for all. Sharing resources and developing joint regulatory frameworks could, for instance, help achieving system reliability at lower costs and balance variable power generation across Europe.
Cooperation starts with mutual understanding. So far, the German energy debate has been focused merely on the German power system, with very little awareness of neighbouring countries. In order to enhance the knowledge basis and preparethe ground for thinking about potential cooperation, Agora Energiewende asked the Regulatory Assistance Project(RAP) to develop a set of short, standard and readable reports on the power sectors of Germany’s neighbouring countries, focusing on key features, regulatory frameworks and important political developments. Originally, the country profiles were supposed to serve internal purposes only. But, as we believe this information could be valuable for others as well, we decided to publish it and make it accessible to everyone.
This country profile on Poland is the first of a series that will eventually cover twelve countries - including one on Germany. It is certainly not exhaustive. We rather consider it as work in progress that we will be reviewing on a regular basis, checking latest developments, improving the text and adding new aspects.