GDF SUEZ has inaugurated the Green Unit biomass plant at Polaniec in south-east Poland, the world’s biggest power plant entirely fuelled by biomass, made up of treefarming and agricultural by-products. It illustrates the Group’s commitment to developing renewable energy in Poland, and across Europe as a whole.
Green Unit, which has a capacity of 205 MW, is the first of the very large-scale 100% biomass plants to run on a mixture of by-products from treefarming (80%) and agriculture (20%). It has a very high yield due to the use of a state of the art technology for this type of combustion (a circulating fluidized bed boiler, with cutting-edge facilities for combustion gas treatment). The plant provides the equivalent of the annual electricity consumption of 600,000 households, and avoids 1.2 million tons(1) CO2 emissions a year. It is part of the GDF SUEZ Energia Polska thermal plant, which has a total capacity of 1,780 MW.
With Green Unit, GDF SUEZ becomes the leading renewable electricity producer in Poland
Green Unit makes a substantial contribution to Poland’s ambitious energy policy. The country plans to diversify its energy mix and bolster its security of supply. Poland targets 15% installed renewable energy capacity by 2020.
The plant has reinforced the Group’s position in renewable energy in Poland enabling it to become the leader in the sector, with 102 MW of capacity in land-based wind power, 205 MW in biomass and some capacity in biomass in co-combustion with coal.
“The Group has major ambitions in Poland. GDF SUEZ, which has operated in the country since 2000 and is the 5th largest energy producer there, is proud to inaugurate the Green Unit today, and to demonstrate its considerable array of renewable energies in both wind power and biomass. Poland, thanks to a dynamic economy and sustained growth in energy demand, is a key and promising market for the Company”, said Gérard Mestrallet, Chairman and CEO of GDF SUEZ.
GDF SUEZ, a European leader in renewable energy
Renewable energy is one of the Group’s key strategic development priorities in Europe. With 8.2 GW of installed renewable energy capacity on the continent, GDF SUEZ is now a leading European renewable energy operator. The Company aims to put 2,000 MW of additional renewable energy capacity(2) into service by 2017. The Company is a leading renewable energy producer in Europe, particularly in hydroelectric power (2nd largest operator in France), wind power (number 1 in France and Belgium, number 2 in Portugal), and biomass (the leading producer in Poland), as well as in photovoltaic power and biogas (France and Belgium).
GDF SUEZ has developed unparalleled expertise in renewable electricity production worldwide. The Company operates in all the industry’s technologies, and renewable energy currently accounts for 18% of total Group installed electricity capacity.
(1) Compared to equivalent coal-based production
(2) Vs. 2010