Poland set to clash with EU over Opole power plant

The Polish government is on a collision course with Brussels over two new coal-fired power units planned for Opole power plant.

The European climate commissioner Connie Hedegaard says that the move would be in violation of EU regulations, if the country goes ahead without assessing for carbon capture and storage (CCS) readiness.

The two units, both capable of generating 900 MW of power, are required to be tested for their ability to incorporate CCS. If the plants were allowed to function without the technology it could emit 1.5 billion tonnes of CO2 over the next 55 years.

Opole PP
“The Commission has received a complaint on this issue and is currently gathering information to determine facts and law concerning the case of the planned two new units at the Opole power plant,” said Ms Hedegaard.

She added that “Member States and their competent authorities are not relieved from the obligation to apply [EU Directives] in case of failure to transpose them.”

Poland is under the spotlight in any case for its failure to transpose the EU directive on CCS into its statute books. The directive would compel any new coal plants to be assessed for CCS-readiness, and ensure that space be left vacant next to the plants for the technology to be installed in the future.

Ironically Poland is hosting the UNFCCC in November.

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