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The Warsaw Voice » Other » December 3, 2008
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EU Flagship Program
December 3, 2008   
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Andrzej Siemaszko, Government Group of European Technology Platform for Zero Emission Fossil Fuel Power Plants:

A critical solution for combating climate change is a wide-scale deployment of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology. Without CCS, the EU's target to reduce CO2 emissions by 60 percent by 2050 is simply not achievable. In 2006, the European Technology Platform for Zero Emission Fossil Fuel Power Plants (ZEP) outlined the technology and deployment "roadmap" necessary to achieve this goal.

The Flagship Program was presented for the first time in 2007. The program was developed by ZEP experts-scientists, industry and environmentalists, united in their support for CCS as a key solution for combating climate change-within a portfolio of solutions, including renewable energies and energy efficiency.

The Flagship Program is targeted at the development of 10-12 full-scale CCS demonstration projects integrating all aspects of CO2 capture, transport and storage-including technology, infrastructure, the environment, health and safety, legal and regulatory issues and funding. A Europe-wide network of demonstration plants should be operational by 2015 to ensure the strategic goal is met: to make CCS commercially viable for all new fossil fuel power plants by 2020.

Global climate change is a serious environmental challenge that requires credible action. It is clear that coal will remain the backbone in the global supply of energy. To reduce emissions of CO2, we have to develop and implement Clean Coal Technologies such as coal gasification (for instance IGCC), improved and highly efficient combustion (such as oxy-fuel) and post-processing which can be accompanied by carbon capture and geological sequestration.

Poland is in a very specific situation since its production of electric energy is 96-percent dependent on hard coal and lignite. Poland has (some say unfortunately) become a focal point of European Energy-Climate Policy. The total cost of modernizing the power sector and building new power plants is estimated as 50 billion euros. For instance, the largest European single-source CO2 emitting power plant in Bełchatów (PGE) has announced a strategy for retrofitting existing units of 4,500 MWe and developing a new clean 858 MWe unit.

Having very rich coal deposits Poland wants to take a lead in developing and implementing other Clean Coal Technologies. There are plans for a pilot plant in Poland to demonstrate Underground Coal Gasification technology developed by Prof. Bohdan Żakiewicz. Southern Poland Power Company PKE together with Kędzierzyn Nitrogen Company ZAK have announced the construction of the first clean energy-carbochemistry complex in the EU with CCS producing both electric power and synthetic fuels and fertilizers. There is information that Puławy Nitrogen Company may follow suit. Production of synthetic fuels from coal would improve Polish security of energy supply with respect to imported oil and gas. Poland together with northern Germany have potentially the largest European on-shore deep saline aquifer reservoir suitable for CO2 sequestration in Mesozoic sediments. Recently, a national program for defining the best sequestration sites has been launched.

Poland needs European support to manage all the challenges it is facing. If Poland succeeds in transforming its economy towards a low-emission one, it will be success for all of us: Poland, Europe and the whole world.
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