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Water Power Plants Possibilities in Powering Electric Cars—Case Study: Poland

Katarzyna Kubiak-Wójcicka, Filip Polak and Leszek Szczęch
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Katarzyna Kubiak-Wójcicka: Faculty of Earth Sciences and Spatial Management, Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń, Lwowska 1 St., 87-100 Toruń, Poland
Filip Polak: Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Military University of Technology, Gen. Sylwester Kaliski 2 St., 00-908 Warsaw, Poland
Leszek Szczęch: Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Military University of Technology, Gen. Sylwester Kaliski 2 St., 00-908 Warsaw, Poland

Energies, 2022, vol. 15, issue 4, 1-0

Abstract: Electric cars are becoming increasingly popular in Poland and around the world. More and more of them appear on the roads, especially in the centers of large cities. They are perceived and advertised as zero-emission cars, not polluting the environment. However, electric cars, such as cars with combustion engines, need to be “refueled”, so they are charged from the power grid. It is important to say that it depends on what the source of energy is. Unfortunately, in the case of Poland, most of the energy in this network (about 80%) comes from sources using fossil fuels (lignite, hard coal, and natural gas). These are not environmentally friendly energy sources. Despite the use of multi-stage exhaust gas cleaning, toxic compounds and carbon dioxide get into the atmosphere. The situation is stalemate because the more energy is needed to power industry, households and electric cars, the more carbon dioxide is emitted into the atmosphere. This paper will demonstrate that the use of the term “green vehicle” in reference to electric automotive vehicles may be a misuse of the term, because if the local conditions of toxic emissions binding for vehicles with combustion engines had been taken into account during type-approval tests of such vehicles, electric vehicles would never have been put into service, not only in towns but everywhere else, too. Calculations show that carbon dioxide (201.2 g), nitrogen oxides (0.166 g), and particulate matters (0.0095 g) emitted by electropower plants are almost twice as large per 100 km than emitted by diesel engine. The solution to this situation is only an increased investment in the power industry based on renewable energy sources (RES). Currently, photovoltaic and wind power plants are experiencing rapid development in Poland, but they produce energy in an unpredictable way, and moreover, they need huge areas to build high-power installations. Much more stable sources of energy are hydroelectric power plants, which are in serious regression in Poland. Planned investments are constantly postponed. Yet, even in the lower Vistula cascade, already planned in the middle of the last century, there is a potential which, if used, would make it possible to ensure clean energy for powering electric vehicles for several dozen years to come. The authors wanted to pay attention to the need to introduce sustainable diversification of energy sources which, following the increase of investment in hydropower, would make it possible to plan the development of electromobility in Poland in a more secure way. The launch of the Lower Vistula cascade would eventually enable the zero-emission operation of approximately 1.5 million electric vehicles.

Keywords: electric cars; electromobility; electricity production; environmental pollution; hydropower energy (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q4 Q40 Q41 Q42 Q43 Q47 Q48 Q49 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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