Coal mining in Poland

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Coal production in Poland (1940-2012)

Coal mining in Poland produced 144 million metric tons of coal in 2012, providing 55 percent of that country’s primary energy consumption, and 75 percent of electrical generation. Poland is the second-largest coal-mining country in Europe, after Germany, and the ninth-largest coal producer in the world. The country consumes nearly all the coal it mines, and is no longer a major coal exporter.[1]

Coal mines are concentrated mainly in Upper Silesia. The most profitable mines were Marcel Coal Mine and Zofiówka Coal Mine. In communist times (1945-1989) one of the most important and largest mines was 1 Maja Coal Mine.

As of 2020, coal powered 74% of Poland’s electricity generation. However extraction is becoming increasingly difficult and expensive, and has become uncompetitive against Russian imports. The industry now relies on government subsidies, taking nearly all of the annual €1.6 billion government energy sector support. In September 2020, the government and mining union agreed a plan to phase out coal by 2049.[2]

Environment[edit]

Coal mining has dropped the water level of Lake Ostrowskie by almost two meters in the KuyaviaPomerania and the lakes in the Powidz Landscape Park. According to the University of Life Sciences in Poznań, the water drainage in the Kleczew brown coal mining areas has formed craters in the area.[3]

In April 2008, five thousand people demonstrated in Kruszwica to protect cultural heritage and the nature reserve at Lake Gopło, against the Tomisławice opencast mine, which was due to open in 2009. This was the first protest of its kind in the country's history. Gopło Millennium Park (Nadgoplański Park Tysiąclecia) is protected by the European Union's Natura 2000 program and includes a major bird sanctuary.[3]

See also[edit]

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ US Energy Information Administration Poland overview, Sept 2013
  2. ^ Gatten, Emma; Suszko, Agnieszka (22 October 2020). "Can Poland, the dirty man of Europe, end its love affair with coal?". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 23 October 2020.
  3. ^ a b "The True Cost of Coal" (PDF). Greenpeace. November 27, 2008. pp. 6, 54–57. Retrieved 2011-05-22. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)