Storm helps Poland hit wind energy record: 30% of power

Poland’s power distribution operator says the deadly high winds that struck last week generated a record level of wind energy, covering some 30% of the demand in Poland, where most of the electricity comes from coal.

Deadly high winds that struck Northern Europe last week generated a record level of wind energy for Poland, covering some 30% of the demand in a country where most of its electricity comes from coal, Poland’s power distribution operator said Monday.

On Wednesday evening when gale-force winds hit “we registered a record level of power generation from wind farms of some 6,700 megawatts,” Maciej Wapinski of the Polish Power System, PSE, told The Associated Press.

The demand at that time in Poland, an European Union nation of 38 million, was nearly 24,000 megawatts, meaning that “wind farms covered almost 30% of the demand,” Wapinski said in an email.

PSE ensures the distribution of electric energy across Poland.

Janusz Gajowiecki, head of the Polish Wind Energy Association, says on average, wind farms supply some 10% of Poland’s annual energy demand and stressed that the potential can be much higher.

But as the storm intensified over the weekend, destroying power lines and causing some turbines to switch off automatically for safety reasons, power levels from wind farms fell to about half of the record level, Wapinski said.

Renewable power accounts for some 25% of Poland’s energy mix and is rising, especially in the wind and solar energy sectors. As a result, the role of black and brown coal is diminishing but still accounts for some 65% of Poland’s energy generation.

During the recent storms, four people were reported killed in Poland and at least nine were injured, as high winds felled trees and tore off roofs.