European politicians are calling on the European Commission (E.C.) to stop Poland from adding two large coal-fired units to the Opole power plant because there is no provision for the inclusion of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology, according to a report by Industrial Info Resources.
As part of efforts to reduce C02 emissions, Industrial Info says the E.C.'s CCS Directive requires those planning new gas and coal power stations with a capacity exceeding 300-megawatts (MW) to ensure that the plant can be made CCS-ready for capturing carbon and other gasses. Opole's new units will have a generating capacity of 900 MW each. Poland remains the only E.U. member country that has not informed the European Commission about its efforts to comply with the CCS Directive.
European Members of Parliament (MEPs) maintained that the new units being proposed for Opole have not been assessed for carbon capture technology, with climate activists claiming that the plant could prevent Poland from meeting its target of generating 15 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020.
"It is very urgent that the Commission gets active and puts some pressure on the Polish authorities to follow E.U. rules," said Jo Leinen, a Socialist (S&D) MEP, as reported by Industrial Info. Leinen has denounced the Opole build as illegal, saying "Opole is a test case for whether our policies are valid or existing only on paper."
In June, Industrial Info reports Poland's largest power company, Polska Grupa Energetyczna (PGE) (Warsaw, Poland) said it wanted to go ahead with the Opole project, just two months after cancelling the €2.7 billion ($3.5 billion) project. In April, PGE pulled the plug on the Opole II project blaming falling electricity prices, weak demand and that the project would be a risky investment for its shareholders. Government pressure has been attributed with the recent u-turn.
For additional information, see Industrial Info's June 26, 2013, article "Pressure On to Revive Polish Power Project" (registration required).
Poland relies on coal for more than 90% of its electricity and is under pressure from the European Union (E.U.) to reduce its reliance on fossil-fuel powered electricity in favour of more renewable energy, according ot Industrial Info.