Scrapped: Fledgling investor interest has effectively dropped the curtains on an under-construction thermal power plant in coal-dependent Poland | Photo: Montel News

Polish firms suspend construction of Ostroleka C plant

Financing for new coal plants is reportedly slowing down, or being suspended, in Poland, as the brakes have been pulled on the proposed 1GW Ostroleka C coal plant. The plant has failed to generate adequate investor interest despite 5% of it having been constructed. Poland remains one of the EU’s largest coal consumers and still generates two-thirds of its power from the fuel.

The plant may eventually be re-drafted as a gas-fired plant, though, because under current EU regulations, any new coal-fired plant would have to pay hefty penalties on each tonne of carbon emitted to the atmosphere. Ostroleka has also been turned down by the state-run PGE in favour of solar and wind capacity. 

Warming winters hurting demand for indoor heating and fossil fuels

An unusually warm winter for the northern nations this year has stymied demand for oil and natural gas by as much as 800,000 barrels per day. The excessively warm temperatures — as much as 6°C above normal — have meant that demand for indoor heating plummeted in Norway, Russia and Japan as its residents didn’t have to rely as much on indoor heating.

While this year’s unusually mild winter was caused by a weather phenomenon that kept the frigid Arctic winds locked to within the region, the irony is that a warming planet means that fossil fuel firms are inadvertently undoing one of their biggest sources of revenue and justification for their operations — space heating. The trend is likely to intensify, because the polar and sub polar regions are reportedly heating up at rates almost twice that of the rest of the world. 

India to stop importing thermal coal by 2024, CIL moving towards solar power 

The Indian minister for coal has indicated that the country will aim to stop importing thermal coal by 2024. The move is aimed to drive self-sufficiency for the country in its coal consumption, which has been on the upswing lately. 

The minister identified energy efficiency and the opening of up to 100 new coal blocks to meet the shortfall, as well as new pit-head coal plants and greater coordination between the railways, shipping lines and Coal India Ltd. to steer it towards its target of one billion tonnes of coal output by 2024.

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