Care for the environment
[G4-14] We are aware of the impact our operations have on the environment. For this reason, the companies from the Group are taking several actions – whether required by national or EU regulations or the actions that are not stipulated in any provisions of law – to reduce such impact. Environmental aspects are of particular importance to our power plants, CHPs and mines which have greater impact on the environment than our other companies.
[G4-EN31] In 2016, the TAURON Group’s total expenditures on investments related to environmental protection amounted to more than PLN 72 million, and total expenditures associated with environmental protection were more than PLN 355 million.
The Business Areas have been conducting pro-environmental activities for many years. The best evidence for this is the Siersza power plant, the first commercial power plant in Poland to implement the environmental management system according to PN-EN 14001 standard (in 2000). In subsequent years, it was joined by more production plants which are currently comprising the Group.
[G4-34] In 2016, the Environmental Protection Team was established in TAURON. Its tasks include comprehensive management of environmental protection matters in the entire Group, in collaboration with the persons responsible for this area in individual companies. One of the Team’s tasks for the nearest future includes drafting the environmental policy for the entire TAURON Group.
[EN-DMA] In electricity and thermal generation, TAURON Group companies use renewables (biomass, hydro and wind) and non-renewable sources (hard coal, natural gas, heating oil).
Hard coal is the main fuel among the TAURON Group’s energy sources. The Group uses renewable energy sources, such as water, wind and biomass, to smaller extent. The Group has a total of 20 power units with biomass co-firing capacities (19 in TAURON Wytwarzanie, 1 in TAURON Ciepło) and 3 biomass-only-fired units (2 in TAURON Wytwarzanie and 1 in TAURON Ciepło). Biomass boilers are used to burn “forest” biomass (such as logging by-products and sawdust) and “agro” biomass (biomass from plants grown for energy purposes).
|Net coal [tons]||13 861 684||13 009 712|
|Coal slurry [tons]||177 816||103 332|
|Natural gas [m3]||8 409 358||4 152 804|
|Heating oil||30 318||32 574|
|Diesel oil [m3]||1 739||1 567|
|Limestone [tons]||2 024 931||2 471 017|
|Total consumption of non-renewable sources||[m3]||8 411 097||4 154 371|
|[tons]||16 094 749||15 616 635|
|Renewable energy sources|
|Agro biomass [tons]||129 600||245 301|
|Forest biomass [tons]||415 480||581 149|
|Total consumption of renewable energy sources||[tons]||545 080||826 450|
[EN-DMA] Water management in the TAURON Group is examined from various perspectives because the companies use water for different purposes. Power plants and CHPs use water mostly in cooling processes, and mines use it in coal enrichment processes. On the other hand, hydropower plants use it directly to generate power.
The main sources of water for the Group companies are surface waters. The most water is consumed by TAURON Wytwarzanie, TAURON Wydobycie and TAURON Ciepło.
Efficient management of water resources is bringing about the expected outcomes. In 2016, the TAURON Group companies used over 15% less water than in the previous year.
|Rivers||146 336 277||181 232 969|
|Aquifers||25 966 409||24 019 869|
|Directly collected and stored rainwater||174 745||120 007|
|Municipal grid water||7 174 898||6 608 137|
|Other||4 228 074||5 578 092|
|Total volume of water uptaken from all listed sources||183 880 440||217 559 120|
* Industrial water – treated liquid waste, water drained from sand quarry.
[G4-EN22] All the companies discharge liquid waste in accordance with the prevailing regulations: by treating liquid waste in their own installations or discharging it into external grids.
The quantities of liquid waste discharged from the TAURON Group’s power plants are reduced through usage of industrial liquid waste in the circuits with lower requirements in terms of quality.
In addition, the TAURON Group’s mines are taking the actions aiming at reducing the quantities of underground waters discharged to rivers through using such waters for in-house needs of the mining plants, in the circuits with lower requirements in terms of quality, and through mechanically restricting the discharge of water with higher salt concentrations using the so-called mining methods, i.e. retention of such waters in the pits by dams.
The liquid waste management system is covered by monitoring which includes measurements of quantities of discharged liquid waste and measurements of its quality, performed in regular time intervals. In addition, certain plants carry out internal audits as part of EMAS or ISO systems, which additionally verify the implementation of liquid waste management policies.
|[G4-EN22] Destination of liquid waste discharge, taking into account heat discharges||TOTAL|
|Liquid waste discharged to municipal liquid waste grids (operated by municipal companies)||818 589||716 616|
|Liquid waste discharged through transporting to liquid waste treatment plants||554||184|
|Liquid waste discharged to surface waters:|
|Rivers||163 933 880||197 875 110|
|Total volume of liquid waste||164 822 556||198 686 258|
Waste management is an important issue in the TAURON Group. Management of large quantities of waste produced by power plants, CHPs and mines puts a significant strain on the environment and results in costs incurred by the Group. For this reason, individual companies undertake various initiatives aiming at optimizing the waste management processes. The leaders in this area are TAURON Wydobycie and TAURON Wytwarzanie, which produce the greatest quantities of waste.
As a result of measures taken, the quantities of waste sent to landfill by the TAURON Group are decreasing and its reuse rates for market purposes are improving.
|Recovery (including recovery of energy)||131||233|
|Total weight of waste||932||1 472|
* Other: hazardous waste from outside of the main production processes (e.g. oils).
|Recycling||40 058||3 128|
|Recovery (including recovery of energy)||2 943 132||4 516 716|
|Neutralization||1 255||11 554|
|Landfill||4 969||20 801|
|Storage||86 359||245 045|
|Other*||97 075||6 118|
|Total weight of waste||3 172 849||4 803 387|
* Other: waste other than hazardous waste from outside of the main production processes (e.g. waste wood).
Information on ways of handling individual types of waste is provided by the recipients of such waste. Quantities of waste produced and transferred are specified in the record-keeping and transfer cards.
[EN-DMA] In the TAURON Group, the issues concerning environmental protection are looked at from several dimensions.
According to our approach, minimization of the Group’s impact on the environment consists not only in reduction of emissions and pollution from the firing processes but also utilization of waste, increasing energy efficiency, management of water and materials as well as environmental monitoring.
For this reason, every year, investments related to environmental protection have a significant share in the Group companies’ budgets. In 2016, we spent over PLN 72 million on such projects. What’s important is that we do not focus only on short-term and immediate activities – we also undertake longstanding pro-environmental research and development projects.
|[G4-EN31] Type of expenditure||Total|
|Costs of waste disposal, flue gas cleaning, and cleaning and removal of pollutants||240 826 272|
|Costs of environmental protection management, including environmental fees||42 287 827|
|Capital expenditures for environmental protection||72 573 805|
|TOTAL EXPENDITURES FOR ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION||355 687 904|
[EN-DMA] The problem of carbon dioxide emissions and emissions of other greenhouse gases is one of the key issues discussed at the European Union level. Because the TAURON Group’s energy mix is based primarily on hard coal, we pay particular attention to the matters concerning CO2 emissions and the risks associated therewith.
Pursuant to the Act on greenhouse gas emissions trading system, the TAURON Group’s power plants and CHPs are obligated to monitor their production installations from the standpoint of greenhouse gas emissions and draft annual reports in that regard. The aforementioned reports are subject to mandatory verification by an independent institution.
The vast majority of carbon dioxide emissions to the environment in the TAURON Group comes from burning its basic fuel, i.e. hard coal. Moreover, settlements include emissions attributable to burning of mazout as well as CO2 generated during exhaust desulfurization process (as a result of release from sorbent).
In 2016, the entities belonging to the TAURON Group emitted 14.9 million tons of CO2 – 1.4 million tons less than a year before.
|[G4-EN15]||Greenhouse gas emissions
[tons of CO2]
|Emissions associated with production of electricity||13 895 610||15 225 438|
|Emissions associated with production of heat||1 039 749||1 143 902|
|Emissions attributable to leaks of gases, including in connection with occurrence of a failure||0.00415||0|
|Emissions associated with transport of materials, products and waste||142.2||0|
|Sum of direct emissions
||14 935 501||16 369 339|
|Biogenic emissions||645 236||1 001 378|
[G4-EN21] Production of energy from fossil fuels also involves emissions of other pollutants, in particular sulfur and nitrogen compounds as well as dusts. Their permitted values are closely regulated and are steadily becoming more stringent. The most recent significant change in this area took force on 1 January 2016. The TAURON Group’s production entities are equipped with state-of-the art systems and installations that allow to minimize emissions (e.g. exhaust gas desulfurization and denitrogenation installations, highly efficient de-dusting installations), and the 910 MW unit in Jaworzno, which is currently under construction, will meet even more rigorous emission standards than the currently prevailing ones.
Air emissions are calculated using data from the emission monitoring system (these systems are subject to obligatory verification), results of periodic measurements and use of emission indicators.
|NOx||15 131 265||19 046 257|
|SOx||15 595 497||26 016 907|
|Total dust||995 123||1 312 306|
|Other||30 074 459||12 240 747|
Sum of all atmospheric emissions
|61 796 344||58 616 217|
*Other: including air emissions such as: HCl, HF, carbon oxide, ammonia, methane, metals. The large difference in the item: Other for 2015 and 2016 results from the fact that in 2016, TAURON Wydobycie included the Brzeszcze Mine with significant methane emissions.
In 2016, the Group companies were also taking voluntary actions aiming at reducing greenhouse gas emissions. As a result of such actions, the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions (calculated into carbon dioxide emissions) amounted to more than 430 thousand tons of CO2.
|[G4-EN19]||Initiative||Nature of the initiative
mandatory (stipulated in the regulations)/voluntary
|Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions
[tons of CO2]
|TAURON Wytwarzanie||Change of the types of fuels used – biomass and coal co-firing||stipulated in the regulations||4 829|
|Change of fuels used – conversion of the boiler for burning biomass only (Stalowa Wola), operation of the boiler that burns biomass only (Jaworzno II power plant)||stipulated in the regulations/voluntary||428 716|
|TAURON Ekoenergia||Construction of pilot and research photovoltaic installation on the roof of the building with total power of 3.34 kW||voluntary||2,4|
|Sum of the reduction||433 547,40|
Climate issues are associated with generation of energy not only in the context of reducing greenhouse gas emissions but also market management following from climate changes. The changes occurring in the environment as a result of climate warming may have a significant impact on the operation of individual areas in the Group, therefore the related risks are monitored on an ongoing basis.
|[G4-EC2] [EC-DMA] Area||Risk type||Risk description||Risk valuation||Risk management|
|Renewable Energy Sources||Hydrological drought phenomenon (physical)||Volatility of hydrological conditions (insufficient water flow) leading to decrease in revenues from production of electricity.||loss of 10% of the planned revenues from hydropower plants.||constant monitoring of water management and hydro facilities; periodic inspections of the technical condition of the facilities; constant cooperation and exchange of information with the Regional Water Management Authority; modernization of water locks and generation units to increase control over the throughput; analysis of the current situation and selection of power plants in which it is possible to postpone the overhauls and maintenance operations.|
|Renewable Energy Sources||Risk of atmospheric factors associated with the operation of wind farms
|Risk associated with unfavorable atmospheric conditions (excessive or insufficient wind speed, icing of turbine rotor blades leading to shut-downs), causing reduction or periodic loss of revenues from generation of electricity.||loss of 5% of the planned revenues from wind farms||optimization and automation of wind turbine operations; constant monitoring of wind conditions; constant technical supervision over the work of wind turbines.|
|Generation||Risk of loss of the heat market
|The risk is associated with decrease in ordered heating capacity by the off-takers, resulting in decrease in the volume of sold heat and, consequently, deterioration of electricity generation efficiency as a result of progress in building construction technologies, thermal modernization of buildings, and modernization of end user heating systems.||decrease in revenues from ordered heating capacity in individual Tauron Wytwarzanie branches.||looking for new buyers; flexible pricing policy.|
|Heat||Weather risk (physical)||Occurring and continuing weather anomalies.||reduced demand for heat was assumed as a result of temperatures 1.8 degree higher than assumed in the plan.||use of the experience, expertise and financial instruments in heat sales planning, taking into account atmospheric factors|
|Mining||Risk of decreased demand for coal
|Risk stemming from unfavorable market conditions, resulting from thermal modernization of buildings, warm winter, and abandoning coal as a fuel in residential buildings.||loss of 10% of revenues from sales of coarse and medium coal grades compared to the plan.||ongoing analysis of production of coarse and medium coal grades; ongoing monitoring of the market demand for coarse and medium coal grades; marketing activities.|
In addition to these risks, climate changes will affect the revenues of TAURON Sprzedaż and TAURON Dystrybucja – change in electricity demand influences electricity volume and prices (sales) and the level of revenues from the sale of distribution services (distribution). In the case of TAURON Dystrybucja, climate changes causing violent storms, windstorms and precipitation may influence the grid failure indices, causing power cuts and leading to the necessary expenditures to repair them.
Our care for the environment manifests itself not only through conducting the business activity on the basis of principles of sustainable development but also through sense of responsibility for educating the community in pro-environmental spirit.
For this reason, the TAURON Group companies are organizing the informational and educational activities dedicated to environmental protection and to conservation of natural resources and energy. They are organizing educational visits to the Group’s plants that have implemented state-of-the-art technologies to minimize the impact on the environment. Our campaigns are intended for customers, local communities, and, primarily, children and youth, where the eduction on pro-environmental behaviors is particularly important in the context of the coming decades.