One thing we have learnt this week – Polish coal

smog-3125312_1920UK insurer Aviva has criticised this week for pouring money into Polish coal this week and undermining the fight against climate change.  We tend to think of King coal as been if not dead at least on its way out but whilst it may be down, its not quite out.  France has announced its closing all its coal fired power stations (it cannot have many) and the UK is on its way to closing the lot (with no effects on the increasingly renewable dominated grid yet), but some countries still use a lot of coal.  These countries include China (also phasing out coal), India (not doing so), Germany (a surprise) and Poland.  Polish coal is used not just for generating power and making steel but also for heating houses.  So you have a mix of industrial pollution, pollution from coal fired power station, from cars and from houses.  The pollution has got so bad drones are being used in at least one city to search for culprits.

Unfortunately the country is planning to build another 10GW of new capacity.  It was pointed out by a defender of this that new kit uses a lot less of the black stuff than of old.  It used to take 4Kg to generate 1Kw now it takes 700g.  Even so Poland is going to have to stop burning coal not just for its own sake but also that of its neighbours.

Neil

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