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Showing posts from April, 2014

Polish Renewable Energy Policy: The Emperor Has No Clothers

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The old tale of the Emperor getting taken by the tailor, who sells him an invisible suit, is a bit over-used. However, the analogy is just to apt for the Polish Government's renewable energy policy to leave it alone.

   The RES policy is full of contradictions, mistakes, and empty promises. The market will, however, do well - despite the government - once the European Commission acts on the illegal state aid issue.

   The biggest lie told by politicians is that the system cost too much and adversely affects economic growth. The system costs about 28 PLN per MWhr or 4.5%. The following table from the Polish Economic Chamber for Renewable Energy sets out the costs to end-users by each element:


   Most of that support goes to state-owned utilities to bolster their bottom-line and allow dividends to go to the State Treasury. Without aid to old hydro projects (illegal under EU rules since they have been depreciated long ago) and aid to co-firing (which does not cost anything like t…

Polish Prime Minister Wants us to Fight for the Right to Burn Coal.... from Russia!

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Poland produces less and less coal every year and imports more and more. The dominant importer is Russia,

The costs of production in Poland, which still has old communist modeled mining companies, is going off the chart.


 From the January 2014 Coal Age magazine:


Despite all attempts by the government to stop it, production levels have been falling steadily since 1989. Today, Polish coal operators produce 60 million mtpy of brown coal and 70 million mtpy of black coal. The coal industry failed to adapt to capitalism. During socialism, the state usually paid for coal at a much higher price than it actually costs to produce. However, those days are gone and today experts agree that Polish coal miners will be unable to escape this cycle. The problem is that coal seams in Poland are too deep to mine cost effectively. By 2030, there will be no more than 10 to 15 working mines in Poland, and production of black coal will drop to 33 million mtpy. Representatives of the Ministry of Energy are se…

THE PROPOSED LAW CREATES UNECESSARY BARRIERS TO BIOGAS DEVELOPMENT

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The Polish Government continues to talk about biogas development, especially in rural areas at the community level, without regard for the provisions of the law that they have proposed.There is simply no way the draft as proposed will result in the large number of biogas projects still suggested as the government’s goal. Ironically, the changes necessary to make the law truly pro-biogas are not extensive and will actually have a positive economic impact on consumers and the public. Why these changes cannot be done by amendment still remains a mystery.

 The Polish Government continues to talk about biogas development, especially in rural areas at the community level, without regard for the provisions of the law that they have proposed.  There is simply no way the draft as proposed will result in the large number of biogas projects still suggested as the government’s goal. 

  The first problem is the auction mechanism for biogas projects. There is absolutely no evidence whatsoever that a…