The climate policy is an intent to protect the environment but also an attempt to build a new business that will become another driver for the European economies; we may win there, it depends only on us – said in Katowice on Thursday Jarosław Broda, Vice President of Tauron.
He has also appealed for sensible investments in new renewable energy source capacities – streamlined with the evolution of the power system. In the context of the imposition of emissions limits on the power sector, he pointed to the bigger problem than in this industry and – indirectly – in the mining sector, of emissions coming from household waste burning and old cars.
Mr Broda took part in the employers’ panel of the “Social Pre-COP24” conference organised by, among others, the trade unions that are arguing that stopping the global warming should not lead to an excessive elimination of jobs in industries. The discussion initiated by the trade unions is meant to assist in the development of a joint position of the unions and of the employers before the COP24 climate summit to take place in December in Katowice.
In his part, Tauron’s Vice President for Asset Management and Development referred to the domestic electricity demand record beaten already three times this year. “Today, with this temperature, we may beat it for the fourth time. Unfortunately for us, there is no wind today – meaning that 6 gigawatts of wind energy are at a standstill. It is such Polish peculiarity that with temperatures above 25 and below 15 centigrade we have no winds – we have anticyclones” – he explained.“So tell me, how, with such a generation mix – at the moment lignite and hard coal provide us with, among others, air-conditioning – are we to go to COP24? First and foremost we should fight in support of the huge success of the Paris Agreement – mulilateralisation of the climate policy” – said Mr Broda.
“Enforcing the climate policy exclusively on the territory of the European Union will not help the world, as we are emitting 12 percent of the global pollutions and paradoxically it may do harm: last 10-15 years is the trend of energy-intensive industries moving to countries with much lower environment protection standards” – he reminded.“So we have to say it openly: enough of the environmental dumping exercised by many exporting countries that send their products to Europe” – he appealed.
In his opinion, an important postulate also stems from the differentiation among individual countries. “If today in Poland our energy security is assured by coal, then in the spirit of responsibility we are ready for and we are commencing the energy transition, but it has to be a one that will keep the lights on and allow our factories to function without disruptions” – he said.
“So we need appropriate time and the right resources to make this transition. It also takes financial resources. But to spend these funds wisely, we need a domestic wise and integrated policy that combines the industrial policy and the energy policy. This is what western European countries, primarily Germany, have been already doing for many years. And doing it successfully” – he stressed.
“Because the climate policy is to the same extent an attempt to protect the environment and to build a new business that will become another driver of the German and other European economies” – he stressed.
“We probably will not change the environment protection trend, but as a country, we can ride the wave and win or not – it is only up to us” – he accentuated. When talking about the measures postulated in the domestic dimension, Mr Broda pointed to, among others, the investments in the renewable energy sources – ones that are needed for the system and that match its evolution. “As we can see, there is no wind outside, but the sun is shining. Perhaps some photovoltaic capacity could help us in solving the huge challenge we have with the summer peaks” – he said.
“Just our coal assets alone – we cannot stand in one place. It is our duty to, firstly, look after their efficiency, to keep modernising them, and secondly, to keep replacing them with a fleet of newer and more environment-friendly units. Our new Jaworzno unit means 30 percent less emissions compared to the national average and over 40 percent compared to the older 120 MW units that we will be retiring. In emissions of other gasses we are achieving even an 80 percent [reduction] – this is a huge difference for the environment” – he declared.
“But we are not living in a theoretical environment – we live in Katowice, Gliwice, Warsaw, and Kraków. Our day to day problem is not necessarily the power plant emissions (…); for us often the much bigger problem is the local emissions: burning waste in home stoves; old cars polluting the air in the cities” – he diagnosed.“Perhaps it is the much more burning issue that we should discuss and publicise than more global limits imposed on the industry such as the power sector and – indirectly – the mining sector – that today are very advanced when it comes to air treatment. It is not without a reason that no smoke comes out of those tall slim chimneys, as our exhaust gases are so clean that we can release them in the cooling towers together with the cooling steam” – concluded the Vice President of Tauron.
The Polish Press Agency