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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

PERVERSE INCENTIVES AND ENERGY PROBLEMS



We live in a strange time and place. Electricity in Poland is much cheaper than it was a few years ago, but the experts are projecting power shortages in the near future. The rules of supply and demand seem suspended by the regulatory and political situation. The low price of electricity in Poland is stopping new construction and investment for multiple possible sources.

Polish government officials do not want us to follow the road of Germany and develop a higher percent of renewables. They say it is too expensive and unreliable. Yet German electricity is cheaper than Polish power and has far, far fewer outages.

The Polish Government objects to adding too much to the price of electricity to support renewable energy, but proposes to continue to use most of the support for the existing production of electricity with only a small partial switch to biomass to make it "green." This does not create any new electricity and detailed studies show that it is 100% transferred to end-users [where support for new RES production ends up increasing all the supply of electricity and has only a fractional impact on end-user prices]. Let's use the most expensive option in the name of saving money!

Irrational policies founded on half-truths and misrepresentations are not unique in politics throughout the world, but they seem to be a well-developed specialty in Poland.


Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Reality Hits Polish Government Plans for Renewable Energy

The Polish law on renewable energy has been a moving target for years. Originally, the law was deliberately delayed to allow the state-owned energy companies to keep receiving support which the European Commission would have stopped if the new law had been notified under the treaty. Now the delays are being triggered by the new government's efforts to amend the program on the fly.

The government has convinced itself that what RES capacity is already done and more co-firing will be all that we need. Some additional biogas plant construction (actually a lot in real terms) is strongly supported in their mix. But the classic RES technologies are on their black list. They have been completely persuaded by the coal lobby that these technologies are too unreliable to be major parts of the energy mix.


The factual basis for their assumptions is being broadly challenged by the RES sector. Poland will not meet the 2020 target without a serious program that includes the full mix of RES technologies. The need to start addressing the 2030 goal is also closer than it looks. The need to expand the energy production sector by any means to avoid black-outs in next few years also strongly suggests that new electricity generation supported by investors (RES) should be promoted, while the government remains free to consider its fantasy of major new coal blocks filling the void.

Many of the old coal-fired plants that have been co-firing will be offline in 2017-2020. A lot of these are the biggest co-firers. Unless they are operating in 2020, nothing that has been done will count toward the target. A lot of the new coal-fired plant construction is a bit delusional - the financing is just not there for this technology when coal plants are closing all over Europe. The debt and equity markets obviously know this, even if the Polish Government pretends not to notice. Expansion of co-firing will be quite problematic, even assuming that the support scheme to do it gets by the European Commission state aid review.

Now we are seeing the deadlines for the PiS amendment to the law start to drag out. A big part o this is undoubtedly feedback from the Commission looking at the new law. The gap between installations covered by the current law (green certificates) and facilities that will be constructed based on the auctions is growing. This is the period when facilities cannot qualify under the old law and cannot get support under the new law. I predicted that it would be 24 months or more and that may be charitable. Continuation of a modified green certificate program approved by the Commission is probably the only viable alternative remaining to meet the 2020 target. This would have to be tweaked to add correction coefficients by technology to reflect their actual cost of production. See prior posts on Mott's Blog. This RES deficit will be especially true when the accumulated green certificates are largely voided by the Commission's action in the enforcement case SA 37244.

The whole situation is made much, much more difficult by the lack of transparency surrounding the legislative process. This has been endemic from the start of the RES legal changes in 2010. Rather than incorporate a bit of reality testing into the internal process, the Polish politicians run into the back office and create their plan. When it hits the streets, they are confronted with all of the realities that they avoided, ignored or were ignorant of when they made their clandestine plan. Real world economics and compliance with European and Polish law apparently only get any attention after the proposal is made in public. Since these twin pillars dictate almost everything that happens in the RES market, the plans seldom bear any relationship to what can actually happen.

The growing bunker mentality of the government, especially vis-a-vis Brussels will only make the problem more acute. While life creates the opportunity of experience, it only promotes forward progress when the right lessons are learned. Transparency and open discussion to flush out the facts is not obviously one of the lessons that is being learned here.




Monday, April 25, 2016

PiS Changes in RES Law Will Promote Co-firing, Biomass and Biogas

Leaked information published in Poland today suggests that the PiS Government will fundamentally change the nature of renewable energy support contained in the prior government's version of the new law.
 'State support in the form of a contract does not have to get the source of the most cost-effective, but the disposition by the greatest number of hours per year. Among the defined limit at the auction they would have been performed in a specific order: the renewable energy sources for power exhibiting the best stability, but not necessarily the cheapest, and finally to the least controllable and disposable.... This means opening up  co-firing  [eg. coal and biomass from wood], will take precedence. Then the next blocks will be biomass and biogas, as well as clusters, also considered self-sufficient and stable systems - indicates our source close to the government sources, and knowing the draft amendment. - If a designated pool of energy ordered by the government will be something else, only they will be held auctions for wind power and solar." Rzeczpospolita, April 25, 2016.
This is serve several purposes that are important for the new government's policies. (1) It will effectively control the technology mix of new RES construction by setting up technology baskets for the auctions that can regulate how much of each technology receives support. This will effectively control wind energy development, even if the land use law gets reversed or tied up in EC proceedings. (2) Technology baskets have been approved by the European Commission for other Member States, so this bypasses the state aid obstacle in theory. However, the maximum price of the co-firing auction will be controversial if it exceeds the real cost of production and results in over-compensation for co-firing (the historical situation). Presumably, the Polish Government will clear the price with the Commission in the course of the current DG Competition review.  (3) The revenue from the new support for co-firing may be an effective offset to the refunds of illegal aid for co-firing since 2005 when it was over-compensated. See pending case SA 37244. It is also speculated that it is a reward for the state-owned energy companies supporting the insolvent state coal mines.  See Grzegorz Wisniewski comments in Rzeczpospolita. (4) The policy can arguably be supported by the need to limit intermittent RES sources that have caused problems in other countries. The issue will only be if the government interest in stability of the system is sufficient to pass muster with the European Commission. The fact that other Member States have been able to conduct approved auctions that are technology-specific and basically ration technologies by basket size seems to indicate that this is possible.
The implications for biogas are probably good. A  separate technology basket will greatly help projects win support. The issue will be the reference price and whether the unnecessary restrictions on projects (size below 1 MW and organic waste substrate restrictions) are removed in the new proposal.  
Another change will be the shift to allow wood to be used in co-firing, not just biomass from agriculture. This is expected to raise wood prices in the Polish market with some adverse effects on smaller users of biomass.
Controversies will still exists with the changes. The major issue remaining will be how the auction reference prices are set and whether doing these changes "on the fly" will result in killing many projects except for co-firing. 


Monday, April 18, 2016

Polish Politicians Promise of Clean Coal Technologies is Bogus

The Polish politicians now reluctantly accept that they have to make noises like burning coal and lignite can be "clean." Every week, we heard a new speech about Poland jumping into "clean coal technologies." The rationale for this energy policy - ignoring the political motives- is that Poland has a lot of coal and that it is cheaper than greener and newer technologies. Both arguments are superficial at best and are fundamentally wrong.

First, "clean coal technologies" are not cheap. They are actually more expensive than other more modern renewable energy alternatives. Details for the United States which has been the global leader in trying to develop "clean coal technologies" clearly show the empty promise of this approach. A report of the results in the US indicates:

  • Duke Energy’s 595 megawatt Edwardsport Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle(IGCC) plant in Indiana. The world’s first large scale IGCC plant. The carbon capture and storage component of the project was dropped part way through construction, although the plant could be upgraded with carbon capture and storage in the future. Online date: June 2013. Forecast cost: $1.985 billion. Actual cost: $3.55 billion. Cost per unit of capacity: $6,000 per kilowatt.
  • The Southern Company’s 582 megawatt Kemper plant in Mississippi. The world’s first large scale IGCC plant with CCS. The carbon dioxide will be injected underground in a nearby oil field. Online date: first half of 2016. Initial forecast cost: $2.4 billion. Revised forecast: $6.2 billion. Cost per unit of capacity: over $10,000 per kilowatt.
  • SaskPower’s 110 megawatt Boundary Dam Project in Saskatchewan. The world’s first post-combustion coal-fired CCS project. The plant takes the flue gas from a pre-existing coal power plant and strips out the carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide will be injected in a nearby oil field. Online date: late 2014. Actual cost: C$1.467 billion. Cost per unit of capacity: over US$12,000 per kilowatt (at today’s exchange rate).
The three plants received either direct government subsidies, or have been authorized by the government to recover costs from their captive customers—a sort of off-the-government’s books subsidy.
To put the plants’ costs in perspective, the graph below compares the capital cost per kilowatt of these plants with the capital costs of other technologies as estimated by the US Energy Information Administration: 


The above costs are US-based, so natural gas is very inexpensive and a domestic resource. But it is hard to argue that the comparative disparity in costs for clean coal will be any better in Poland. Polish politicians advocating this course here are actually promoting the energy plan that will have the most adverse economic consequences on Polish end-users.

The argument that Poland has coal and therefore it is better to use it is equally fallacious. Poland also has wind, sunshine, organic waste and other things that can produce energy cheaper and cleaner than "clean coal technologies."   Theoretically, Poland could make a lot of buggy whips as well, but that does not mean that such an endeavor would be prudent or sound.

In the end, watching the Polish politicians struggling to find a way to justify the impossible premise of keeping dependence on coal reminds me of Dr. Samuel Johnson's remark about dogs who can walk on only their hind legs. "One wonders not so much about how they do it as why they bother."

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There is an abundance of published reports and professional opinions on this subject and no real room for doubt about the conclusions.

Thursday, April 07, 2016

The Continued Uncertainty in Polish Renewable Energy



Never make predictions, especially about the future.   
  
                                                                  Casey Stengel

By now everyone's predictions on the state of the renewable energy support system in Poland are wrong. The new government has gone back to square one and is working on an overhaul of the law passed last April. The European Commission is finalizing a decision on the green certificate program, including support for co-firing and old hydro, and - at the same time - looking into the law passed last April. It is likely that the Commission is discussing the changes in the new law with the Polish Government right now. Adding to the confusion, much of the RES that the new government in Warsaw seems to like is also problematic.

     Whether by the controversial law on land use planning - mandating an offset of wind farms from buildings and conservation areas that precludes most locations in Poland from being used for wind energy - or by simply limiting the basket of technology-specific support that will be auctioned under new rules to be announced soon, the Polish Government has successfully blocked wind energy from serious expansion in Poland.

     The talk about geothermal energy by the new government seems to be not grounded in any reality that I know of. Our firm looked into geothermal combined heat and power plants in Poland in 2009-2011. The "low enthalpy" geothermal water present in Poland creates a serious inefficiency in the generators used in that sector, i.e. organic Rankin cycle equipment. Higher temperature water may be present, but the network of wells is very sketchy and the expense of going 3000-4000 meters just to check availability and feasibility is prohibitive. The generation equipment is also 30% more expensive in Europe than in the United States (which leads the world in geothermal development).

    The co-firing of biomass with coal has been the predominant form of RES in Poland. This is because of its cheap cost, the lack of a need for major facility modification or new equipment, and the large number of coal-fired plants subject to green energy obligations. Co-firing so dominated the sector that it made attainment of the quotas relatively easy but drove the price of the market-based green certificates into the cellar. The EC in case SA 37244 is expected to rule on whether the support for co-firing (which was the same as most expensive technologies) violated the state aid rules. These rules have generally required that state support be correlated to the cost of production of the renewable energy by technology. The new law had proposed co-firing be restricted and receive 50% of the support it historically got. The EC must rule on this issue and any Polish Government plan to increase co-firing will have to be approved before-the-fact. There are good arguments that co-firing is over-compensated even at 50%.

     I am, of course, quite happy that the Polish Government has again announced its broad support for biogas. However, I have doubts that they understand enough about the industry to provide the right incentives. The Polish Biogas Association has filed detailed comments on what needs to happen to make the sector healthy and growing. The level of proposed support in the last public document was a maximum auction price of 500 PLN/MWhr, which may be adequate for some projects, but will not support most of the typical Polish projects unless they also receive substantial grants.

     It is now 2016 and a typical RES projects requires a good deal of front-end work in the climate of excessive Polish red-tape. A fast track to get a project ready to build is 24 months and a more likely scenario is 36 months. Construction ranges from nine to twelve months. So we are looking at about three to four years for new projects to get approvals, documentation, design, construction and commissioning. With no auction likely this year, this means that unless the green certificate program is extended with EC approval of changes, it is nearly certain that Poland will not meet the 2020 targets.

     The problem with co-firing goes well beyond the issue of how much state support it can receive and satisfy the EC. The biggest co-firing plants are also the ones operating on "borrowed time" under various extensions of EU mandates that will close them. A very large amount of capacity is scheduled to close before 2020.  Funding for new coal blocks is problematic at this point. Most of the traditional sources of equity and debt are out of the coal business at this point. The announced objective of the EC to get the CO2 fees over 20 Euro per ton simply adds to the abysmal situation for coal in Europe right now. Even at 10 Euro, Polish experts have indicated that it is not economically practical to operate coal plants. Many of the plants that the government assumes will be co-firing will not be built at all.....certainly not before 2020.  Those that are built will be in a precarious financial condition that will jeopardize their continued operations. This might even be good news for meeting CO2 reductions, but it will be a disaster if the major RES technology supported by the government is co-firing with coal.

     The delays by the former government, intended to allow maximum support for co-firing for as long as possible, have left the new government will little room to maneuver. Instead of tweaking the system to meet their policy preferences, they are looking at fundamental changes in the support system and technology mix. There is unlikely to be enough time for this effort and still remain anywhere near on track for 2020 and even 2030 at this point.

   The only alternative that works is to revise the green certificate program adjusted to meet EC requirements. Any auctions for new projects by technology could occur as optional support to developers who want a 15 years guaranteed return. The references prices should reflect the same level of cost of production as the certificate coefficients.

     The PBA recommendations on biogas would allow biogas projects to be developed continuously over this period, including both larger waste-related plants and smaller farm plants.  There are many good reasons to encourage biogas plants in Poland and not all of them have to do with RES policy.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Polish Government Plan to Make State-owned Firms Shoulder Bankrupt Coal Mines


The new government announced plans to compel other state-owned companies to kick in funding to bankrupt coal-mines also owned by the government. Since it costs more to mine the coal than its market value (and Polish coal is notoriously poor in quality), this is the classic maxim of throwing good money after bad. Or maybe the black hole of Poland?


Animation here.

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Polish Biogas Association Comments on What Needs to be Done to Promote Biogas in Poland

The new government in Poland has announced its intention to much more actively promote and support biogas development. We are excited by this change in attitude and are trying to provide them with accurate information and policy suggestions to make it happen.

The details have been provided today by the Polish Biogas Association. We basically argue against using auctions for biogas and other smaller RES projects (citing a lot of studies and data). PBA also asks that the current system be fixed by providing a weighted certificate value based on the cost of production of the various technologies (as will be required by the European Commission in their review of the certificate program). We think that program should be continued for several years, even to 2020, to assure that there is a continuous construction of new facilities of all types.  The new auctions will not occur this year at this point and if they go ahead next year with two to four years to wait before new projects that win support can be built, Poland will be totally unable to meet the 2020 targets,

PBA also provides details on the definition of what feed-stock can be used and argues for the use of everything that the EU includes in its regulatory definitions. These centralized anaerobic digestion plants managing organic waste provide the best option of their handling and should not receive lower support than farm biogas plants.

It remains to be seen whether the government is serious or really understands what needs to happen, but this is more optimism than the sector has had in years.

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Poland's Big CO2 Climate Move May be Totally Meaningless

The big move Poland made in the climate talks and that it is pushing in further policy discussions may well be meaningless. The option of using re-forestation as a carbon sink to reduce or offset CO2 emissions was one of the big plays by the Polish Government. "carbon sink is anything that absorbs more carbon that it releases..."  [sinkwatch.com].


The Kyoto agreement allowed forests to be considered carbon sinks and encouraged the planting of new forests as a means of CO2 control. There was some of abuse of this mechanism as with other Kyoto projects, but it is a recognized means of CO2 reduction. Allowing the same means to be used under the European Union Emissions Trading Directive (the main instrument for EU climate policy) was a bit controversial. But Poland and others got this option recognized.

The difficulty - as always - is in the details. One 1000 MW coal-fired plant requires over 100,000 hectares of forest to offset its emissions. The standard applied for a carbon sink to be considered as a CO2 reduction mechanism is that it would not otherwise exist, i.e. new forests should be planted.  So the issue is what would be the net costs of planting enough forests to provide a significant offset for an economy heavily relying on coal-fired energy?

One study by Swedish researchers looked at the issue across all members of the EU. Because Poland has a relatively low level of control of emissions, its incremental control of emissions control (while high) is less than many other countries where stack emissions are more regulated and restricted. The authors concluded that the use of carbon sinks in Poland was actually more expensive than abatement of fossil fuel emissions: "Without carbon sink option, this country makes larger gains from offering permits at the market due to its relatively low abatement cost for reducing fossil fuels." Environmental Economics, Volume 5, Issue 1, 2014 27 Ing-Marie Gren (Sweden), Katarina Elofsson (Sweden) Economic effects of carbon sink management for the EU climate policy.  There may be other studies that contradict this one, but they are not easy to find if they exist. I looked.

Consequently, it appears that Poland will be in for a major effort to reduce CO2 emissions. Fortunately, this overlaps with the need to finally start enforcing EU air pollution regulations (the pending case in the European Court against Poland just filed). It also dovetails with the need to provide larger levels of renewable energy to meet 2020 and 2030 EU targets. Combined with even a modest and discounted estimate of future increases in carbon allowance fees, the pressures are now getting enormous for change in the Polish energy sector. It seems a bit of wishful thinking to suyppose that planting a much of new trees with reduce the problem.


Thursday, February 25, 2016

Speculating on the Minimum Impact of the European Commission Decision on Green Certitifcates

Any day now we expect the European Commission, DG Competition, to announce its decision of the Polish green certificate system as state aid.  Several issues will be addressed and possibly some complex cost recovery issues raised but not entirely answered.

The thrust of the complaint in SA 37244 was that support of co-firing was too much and was out of line with the cost of production via that technology. This fact was admitted by the Ministry of Economy and even the former Prime Minister's website. In addition, the support for old hydro plants that were built many years ago was attacked as illegal or incompatible with the rules, since the law precludes providing operating support for projects already fully depreciated.  Much of the law is set out in earlier posts on this blog.

Taking the incontrovertible facts about co-firing and old hydro, it appears that co-firing might get a 50% retroactive* reduction (maybe more?) of aid already provided in line with the adjustment made in the new law and the admissions of the government. The data suggest a lower figure, but this is one case were the Polish Government might get a big break. However, no certificates for old hydro cannot be justified under any interpretation of the rules.The immediate impact will likely be that accumulated certificates from these sources will have to be reduced by 50% and 100% respectively. This in itself will largely solve the over-supply problem. Requiring a rule limiting accumulation could reduce this even more.


      Big utilities will be the losers

But what about all of the certificates used from 2005 to date that were illegal due to their incompatibility with the state aid competition rules. The law is clear that the funds must be "recovered." Again, the legal references are in earlier posts on this blog. But how can this be achieved and what about the long chain of buyers and sellers who will involved? This is a major problem with no easy solutions.

One effect might be to allow those holding co-firing 50% certificates (after the adjustment) to use those to pay back the over-payment on earlier certificates. This would create a non-cash means to effect cost recovery with lower impact on the market and the players. Of course, there is no such option for old hydro certificates.  The advantage of this cost recovery means is that it would totally eliminate the over-supply of certificates.

Having done this and adjusted the certificates to reflect the cost of production across technologies (required by the state aid rules and proposed in Poland in 2013), Poland would then have a system that complies with both the old and new state aid guidelines. See para. 136 of the Guidelines for State Aid for Environmental Protection (2014). Since the new law is not approved by the Commission and will not be even formally submitted until all of the amendments are finished, it is impossible for there to be an auction in 2016. Something many of us predicted all along. There will likely never be a small auction, because Commission approval of that provision is quite problematic.

If there is an auction in 2017, the construction of projects winning bids would not start until that year or much later. It is therefore very unlikely that any more than half of the necessary MWhr of new green energy can be produced under the new procedures by 2020. As pointed out by the Polish Wind energy Association, the delay between the old law ending (now July 2016) and projects going ahead under the new law (now some unknown date in 2017 possibly),  means no new construction for an extended period of time.

The solution advocated by me and the PBA is to extend the green certificate program (as revised) for a much longer period, even up to 2020. During this period, auctions might occur for new large projects (say over 5 MW) at the election of the developers. This is exactly how the UK is managing the transition from its certificate program to its auction system. Moreover, the old premise that all Polish support for new projects will stop in 2020 is both inaccurate and foolish. First, Poland will be short the 2020 target and will need to continue projects and second, the EU now has higher goals for 2030 that require more new projects after 2020.

The levelized green certificate program, approved by the Commission, offers a viable way to get there from here. It also can allow for some large auctions of RES support to simultaneously occur without completely interrupting and disrupting the flow of new projects. We should also remember that Poland is short generation capacity and many of the new coal blocks planned by the government-owned companies now have serious financial issues that may well preclude their construction on time or altogether. Only RES projects can add capacity in a relatively short turn-around to meet capacity shortfalls.
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* The EC takes the position that state aid which is incompatible with the European Treaty competition requirements in null and void from the "get go." COUNCIL REGULATION (EU) 2015/1589of 13 July 2015, par. 25 COMMISSION REGULATION (EU) 2015/ 2282. There are no vested rights in illegal aid. The Commission has ordered over 110 cases of recovery, recently ordering over 1 billion Euro to be recovered from EDF.

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Note: Expert advice on how to navigate the new situation is available by contacting the author. randymott (at) envirosolutions.co.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Cancellation of Conference on EU decision on Green Certificates

At this point, there is a real shortage of organizations and people who want to discuss the European Commission enforcement case on green certificates and their review of the new law in Poland. Due to lack of sponsors and reluctance of folks to even agree to discuss the topics, the planned event to publicly explore all this stuff has to be cancelled. I am, however, able to discuss the issues and review what the decision means with individual clients willing to retain me for this purpose.  The consequences of the EC action will be sweeping and complex.


I am sure that the professional conference companies will schedule something on these issues in the coming months, but they will likely have speakers without much in-depth knowledge of the subject and/or speakers not willing to honestly discuss the implications and issues.  

Friday, February 12, 2016

Poland Misuses EU Money for Energy Transition to Maintain Coal

There are no real surprises in the latest Bankwatch/Friends of the Earth report on Central European Governments use of EU climate change and environmental funds. "... Polish energy policies and strategies continue to follow a path which centres almost entirely on sustaining the existing energy system...." CLIMATE’S ENFANTS TERRIBLE SHOW NEW MEMBER STATES’ MISGUIDEDUSE OF EU FUNDS IS HOLDING BACK EUROPE’S CLEAN ENERGY TRANSITION (January 2016) p. 24.

"77% of heat energy comes from burning coal, with other fossil fuels such as gas and oil adding up to cover almost 90% of heat production. The energy system is an oligopoly, with four out of five coal mining companies fully or partially state-owned and the production market mostly shared between four companies where the state is a majority stakeholder. A workforce of 100,000 hard-coal miners, 240 trade unions with significant political power as well as many interconnections between the government and the energy sector play a key role in maintaining the status quo and impeding the transition to a low-carbon economy." Bankwatch/FOE Report, p.25

As consistently  pointed out in this blog, this lock-step commitment to the past in Polish energy makes no economic or technical sense. No other country in Europe is still committed to the energy system of the 1950s. China just announced the lay-offs and coal mine closures as did the Czech Republic. Western European utilities are walking away from coal. Every cost trend favors other technology at this point. This is true without regard to the external cost of burning coal.

While we are constantly told by Polish politicians that renewable energy is too expensive for Poland, the data now shows that the levelized internal cost of coal makes in more expensive now than wind and - within ten years - PV solar. "Public support of coal mining and coal-based energy production, including subsidies, debt cancellations, free emissions allowances and social benefits for miners amounts to approximately EUR 34 billion in the period 1990-2012." Bankwatch/FOE Report, p. 25.

"Against this backdrop of the Polish energy market and climate policies, it is no surprise that the European funds are missing crucial strategic direction and the programming documents resemble more of a business-as-usual shopping list based on the existing needs of a carbon-intensive economy, rather than any real effort to create a new reality with the billions of euros of EU money." p.26.

Only a small fraction of EU funding is being used to make the transition away from a coal/lignite based energy system. When these EU funds are used up, Poland will be left to its own resources to replace the aging, inefficient and environmentally unfriendly energy system set by here by the Russians. Poland's energy sector is on life-support using resources stolen from the funds set up to provide for a transplant for the patient. When the funds run out, the patient will die without the transplant.


Thursday, February 11, 2016

PV Solar Energy Reaches Grid Parity in 20 US States

Big news. This date was supposed to be far off in the future. It is happening much quicker than people expected a decade ago.

States will good sunlight have reached the "sweet spot" where PV is as cheap as any other electricity.

This is one of the realities that escapes Polish politicians and the advocates of coal. "Parity" in Poland is also a higher price than most markets in the United States (easier to reach).

Friday, January 22, 2016

The Reality of Coal's Future in Europe

No comment...................


Source: EuroStat.

Note: China just announced closure of coal mines and layoff of one million miners. The decision is a direct result of the shift to other energy technologies in China.