Economics should be open

December 9, 2008

Polish Heat and Power

Filed under: Energy — Tags: , — howardchong @ 1:01 am

I was looking at International Energy Agency (IEA) stats on Electricity Generation. For most countries, an average of 90% of electricity is produced by electricity-only plants. But in Poland, 91% is produced by combined heat and power (CHP).

I thought this must be a mistake, but this excerpt from a googled site shows otherwise:

“Heat and hot water
The district heating sector in Poland comprises almost 400 individual networks, including the world’s largest district heating network in Warsaw. Of Poland’s urban population, 70% receive space-heat and 50% receive hot water from district heating systems. The sector is powered by a total of over 8,000 boilers, and delivers about 488 PJ (petajoules) of heat each year, at a peak rate of 45 GW. Out of this total heat production, approximately 170 PJ is produced within, and used by industrial enterprises.”
(source:, accessed 08 DEC, 2008 )

Wow! What does this mean? It means that instead of every house having it’s own water heater, there is a big chunk of Poland that gets it’s hot water from a central plant. Instead of everyone having their own heater, some people also get heat piped in from a central heating plant.

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