Polish Briefing 17 December, 2018 9:00 am   
COMMENTS: Mateusz Gibała

Polish Briefing: RES cannot replace coal overnight

What goes on in Poland on the 17th of December.

Stańczyk: RES cannot replace coal overnight

Coal can be used in a way that is less harmful to the environment. Professor dr hab. Eng. Krzysztof Stańczyk, head of the Department of Savings and Air Protection in the Central Mining Institute, argued in an interview with that coal-fired power plants in Poland can not be rapidly replaced by renewable sources.

– Any technology can have a more or less environmental impact. The concept of clean coal technologies means that coal can be used in a way that is less burdensome to the environment than it has been before. Currently, the Central Mining Institute is working on such technologies – said Stańczyk.

According to him, Poland can not give up this raw material, because most of the power units are fueled by it. – We will gradually move away from it. However, this process can not be carried out very quickly – he added.

“Emission is inseparable from the use of fossil fuels”

As emphasized by prof. Stanczyk, clean coal technologies do not mean a total reduction of CO2 emissions. – This emission is inseparable from the burning and use of fossil fuels. Not only coal, but also oil and gas. As long as we use these fuels, we will emit carbon dioxide. We can only capture a small portion of CO2 and allocate it to the production of chemical compounds or sequestered in geological structures for 1000 or more years – said the interviewee

In his opinion, another way to reduce CO2 emissions is to improve the efficiency of power units in Poland. – If instead of old generation capacities that work with 30% efficiency, we will build new ones up to 45%, we will radically reduce CO2 emissions by up to one third – says prof. Stanczyk.

He noted that new coal blocks in Poland are built on the basis of the latest technologies. – But all installations that produce 78% of the electricity produced in Poland can not be replaced in a very short time. Even if we want to replace them with wind farms or solar plants, to build installations that would provide comparable power to the installed capacity in coal units, 15-20 years are needed. During this time, we can gradually reduce its share and in this way transform the Polish energy sector – added Stańczyk.