Poland’s massive Belchateau power plant, Europe’s most polluting power plant, has announced that it will shut down. This is an important step in the country’s green transformation.
The Belchatow Power Plant is the largest lignite power plant in Europe, with a length of about one kilometer and representing a fifth of Poland’s total electricity production. But it is also the most polluting power plant in the entire European Union. Lignite is more polluting than coal, and due to its lower energy density, huge quantities are needed.
Poland relies heavily on coal-fired power plants but is under increasing pressure to switch to renewable energy. Polish state-owned company PGE reported in a press release that the plant will be phased out between 2030 and 2036. At the same time, lignite mining at the nearby mine will also stop and plans for the Zloczew lignite mine will be scrapped.
Advertising has a lot to do with Europe: to be eligible for funds from the European Fund for a Just Transition, a concrete step-by-step plan must be submitted. The fund was created only last year to assist member states with their transition, and the Belchatow plant project will be an important test.
“Establishing clear deadlines for the closure of various parts of the plant and the closure of the lignite mines is critical to determining the future of the Bełchatow power complex, its workers and residents of the area,” said Wojciech Dąbrowski, CEO of PGE. . “It is also symbolic, because the success of Poland’s energy transition largely depends on the outcome of this project.”
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