Bellona opens office in Poland

frontpageingressimage_krakow.jpg Photo: wikipedia commons

”We are very proud to open a new office in Poland. We see a great potential for climate measures like CO2 capture and storage in this country. Bellona Polska work will be based on a realistic, but ambitious take on Polish climate and energy policy”, says President of the Bellona Foundation, Frederic Hauge.

Bellona opened its first office abroad in Murmansk, in 1994. Later the same year, Bellona Europa in Brussels started its work. Bellona’s offices in Washington and St. Petersburg were established in 1996 and 1998.

Bellona Polska

Bellona’s office in Krakow opens during Bellona’s 25th anniversary year.

The new office, Bellona Polska, will be registered as a Polish foundation, and starts up with three employees. The office is headed by Marek Zaborowski, who has an extensive experience from a number of Polish NGOs, international engineering companies as well as governmental institutions.

The two most important fields of work for Bellona Polska will be CO2 Capture and Storage (CCS) and energy efficieny.

The European Climate Foundation has generously supported the office financially.

Roadmap for Poland

To a great extent, Bellona Polska is being established as a result of Bellona’s work on a CCS roadmap for Poland. This roadmap – called ”Insuring Energy Independence – A CCS Roadmap for Poland” – is launched in Warsaw today.

Bellona’s experts in Oslo have worked with Polish experts to present an in-depth study of the possibilities of CCS deployment in the Polish power sector and industries like cement and steel as well as scenarios for future challenges the energy sector is facing.

”We’ve had several partners in Poland over a period of time now, and we have built up our expertise on climate and energy issues in Poland”, says Bellona’s president Hauge.

The biggest emitter

Poland has a very carbon intensive power sector: Close to 90% of the electricity in Poland is produced at coal fired plants. The Polish power sector is emitting 1,12 tonnes CO2 eq per MWh of electricity produced, compared to an average of 0,45 tonnes CO2 eq/MWh in EU.

The Belchatow power plant is one of the largest single CO2 emission sources in Europe, emitting about 30 million tonnes of CO2 per year.

”We see a great potential for CO2 capture and storage in Poland. There are several large emission points both within the power sector and in industries such as cement and steel. At the same time Poland has several potential CO2 storage sites”, says Hauge.

New power plants

As all other countries, Poland needs to deploy a wide range of measures to reduce global emissions – such as renewable energy sources and energy efficiency. Due to it’s great dependece on domestic coal and as widespread deployment of renewable energy sources is a long-term excercise, Bellona expects the biggest emissions reductions to come from CO2 capture and storage for the next decades.

Power plants in Poland are old: More than half of them are ready for retirement within 5-20 years. Bellona see it as crucial to equip the new ones with CCS technology. In addition, the EU’s ambition, set out by the European Commission, is to have all new fossil fuel power plants built CCS ready from 2020.

For Poland, meeting its EU commitments while  maintaing a functioning power sector is a challenge to which CCS is one of the few crucial solutions.