The PGE Capital Group has published preliminary data for 2019. Lower operating results in the coal-fired power generation segment and simultaneous increases in the RES segment's results confirm that the Group's transition towards low-carbon power generation was the right decision.
According to preliminary estimates, in 2019 the power units operated by the PGE Groupgenerated electricity in the net amount of 58.3 TWh, including 32.2 TWh generated in lignite-fired units (a 17% decrease) and coal-fired units (an 8% decrease to 18.9 TWh). The distribution volume amounted to 36.4 TWh (the same as last year), and sales to final customers amounted to 44.0 TWh (an increase by 3%). The heat sales volume was 48.8 PJ (a decrease by 2%).
As the leader of the power generation market, the PGE Group was consistently continuing the diversification of its fuel structure in the blue and green direction. In 2019 the generation of power from natural gas rose by 9% on a year to year basis to 4.5 TWh. In the same period the PGE Group's wind farms produced 20% more electricity than in the previous year, reaching, according to preliminary data, the result of 1.27 TWh. Furthermore, there was an increase in the production of power from biomass (by 13%) and in pumped storage power plants (by 67%).
In Poland, the conventional power generation sector has come under strong pressure in both market and regulatory dimensions. However, our response to this is very concrete projects aimed at transition towards low-carbon generation. We are already implementing an ambitious plan to depart gradually from coal in the Dolna Odra Power Plant in northern Poland. We have just signed a contract for the reconstruction of its generation capacity based on much cleaner natural gas, and we are also planning to use the land surrounding the plant as a site for the installation of photovoltaic panels. We also want to implement a multi-fuel approach to the transformation of the Bełchatów complex, where we also plan to build renewable energy sources, primarily photovoltaic farms and new wind power capacities. Responding to the social needs of the region, we also recognize great potential for the development of waste-to-energy installation, serving not only the region of Bełchatów but also the city of Łódź, says Henryk Baranowski, President of the Management Board of PGE Polska Grupa Energetyczna.
According to preliminary estimates, the PGE Group's reported EBITDA for 2019 grew by 12% to PLN 7.1bn, mainly in consequence of additional CO2 emission allowances (EUA) worth PLN 1.4bn and allocated in the first half of 2019.
At the level of recurring items, the Group's EBITDA fell by 1% on a year to year basisto PLN 6.6bn. Despite the higher average price of energy charged by the Conventional Generation segment (the price higher by PLN 69 per MWh) and the higher margin on electricity generated in the District Heating segment (the price higher by PLN 90 per MWh), the cost factors and lower generation volumes achieved in the Conventional Generation segment contributed to a lower financial result. The annual increase of CO2 emission costs was approximately PLN 1.64bn. The volume of power generated from coal and lignite sources fell on a year to year basis by 8.5 TWh, including a 6.8 TWh decrease in generation from lignite.
In 2019 the PGE Group's capital expenditures grew by 2% on a year-to-year basis and exceeded the level of PLN 7bn.
We are the leader in the power generation industry, but we realize that we will achieve more and faster through close cooperation with other major players in the Polish economy. Looking for synergy effects, we have invited KGHM, the Azoty Group, and PKP to cooperate with us. Our partners own large tracts of land and we have an ambitious goal to pursue: we want to build solar power plants with a total capacity of 2.5 GW, which will give us the leading position in the photovoltaic segment in Poland and will allow us to increase the share of renewable energy sources in Poland's energy mix, thus reducing CO2 emissions. In 2019, we also accelerated preparations for the construction of offshore wind farms in the Baltic Sea. In order to multiply the positive impact of the development of the offshore sector on the Polish economy, we have established close relations with PKN Orlen. I am positive that thanks to cooperation among champions, this potential will be utilized to the maximum, says Henryk Baranowski.
We are also intensifying the development of the electromobility infrastructure. Our cooperation with the Social Insurance Institution will accelerate the process of building electric car charging stations. This year we will double the number of charging points for green cars. All these projects are elements of the broadly understood transformation of the power generation sector, and we, as its leader, want to set the pace and determine directions for this process, adds Henryk Baranowski.