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

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 seriously concerned about the situation. According to official statistics, coal mining costs increased by more than 5% last year, while thermal coal prices in the region dropped by more than 12%. Coal sales have dropped more than 5% during the first half of 2013 compared to the same period of 2012. As of September 2013, the level of stockpiles reached record heights of 9 million mt.
According to the ministry, Poland will continue to burn coal until 2050, despite the domestic situation. So with an insufficient level of domestic production, Poland will import. “We cannot work without coal. So it is time to begin the work that will guarantee Polish coal in the long term. If we do not have it, then we will be forced to import coal from abroad,” said Maciej Kalinski, director of the Mining Department of the Ministry of Economy of Poland.
There is also a prevalent political fear. Becoming dependent on coal imports to Russia could put Poland in a similar situation as Ukraine, which is dependent on Russian gas. Poland may find the situation hard to avoid as Russian companies increase production and coal exports.
   The mines are old and inefficient. Most of the power plants burning coal are also dinosaurs and 6000 MW must legally close by the end of 2015 due to EU emission rules. 
   The Prime Minister is acting like a losing gambler in Las Vegas who insists that if you only give him another stake that he will make up all of his losses.  
   Why would any rationale person think that this dying coal sector should preclude Poland from developing green energy like all of its neighbors?


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