Winter freeze sends Polish power demand to record high

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Polish electricity demand hit a fresh record of 27.6 gigawatts (GW) on Friday, but the grid operator PSE said the system could cope with the surge in usage caused by freezing temperatures.

The previous record was 27.4 GW, set on Jan. 18.

Poland, which generates electricity mostly from ageing coal-fuelled power stations, has in the past faced power shortages during surges in demand.

This cold snap has lasted for around a week, with the temperature in Warsaw falling to minus 12 Celsius on Friday morning. Forecasts say the cold will ease during the weekend with temperatures seen falling again next week.

People walk in the city center during snowfall in Warsaw, central Poland. EPA-EFE/LESZEK SZYMANSKI

The operator said that the demand for power was mostly met by domestic sources and that during the peak, Poland’s electricity imports amounted at almost 1 GW. Poland’s installed power capacity totals around 49 GW.

Main Photo: The Warta River in Gorzow Wilekopolski, western Poland. The Warta River level in the Gorzow region exceeds the emergency level. The reason is an ice jam on the river in the city. EPA-EFE/Lech Muszyñski

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