European Union policy on climate makes a decisive impact on the further development of Polish chemical and energy sectors. One of the results of the changes in EU legislation is raising the prices of CO2 emission quotas, which shall pose a tremendous challenge to the domestic energy sector, which is based on a high-emissions resource, namely coal.
The Polish stance
Poland’s main postulate in negotiations on climate policy is our want to gain an opportunity to develop the national economy in a constant manner, and continue to create favorable conditions for making domestic enterprises more competitive
Our country believes that planting new trees is more effective than concentrating on purchasing technology for capturing CO2 from the atmosphere and generating the cost of storing it in earth deposits. Using emissions trading is another solution, as well as participation in enterprises aimed at “clean” development, by supporting tree planting in China, an activity which can help reduce CO2 level in the atmosphere.
EU regulations on climate and Grupa Azoty
Investment plans of Grupa Azoty have been taking into consideration the necessity to adjust to new EU regulations on climate change. The money shall be devoted to projects aimed at reducing the emissions of greenhouses gases, mainly sulfur hexafluoride and nitrogen compounds, in line with EU policy on climate change.
Based on an agreement with AGH University of Science and Technology in Kraków, we took up cooperation concerning the development of “clean” coal technologies. The project involves research on the choice and preparation of coal for gasification, using coal in chemical processes and developing technology for using waste generated by coal gasification.
A combined cycle plant of 400 MW capacity is being planned in Puławy. The implementation of this important investment will enable Grupa Azoty to prepare in an efficient manner for emissions reduction (including CO2), and making use of energy and technological vapor efficiently.
Possible negative repercussions
It is feared that the speed of changes imposed by the European Union with regard to energy and climate policy is too quick, necessitating adjustments of long-term investment plans with a view to comply with EU regulations on emissions. What is more, European chemical companies are at a disadvantage competing with manufacturers from outside the EU, since in other countries the emissions regulations are less strict.