Captured waste heat in Poland could provide affordable heating solutions and cleaner air to local households.
This is according to a recent study by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), that studied carbon emissions and air pollution from coal-powered plants in two Polish cities.
The study notes that current Polish energy policies make it profitable for operators to continue using coal-fired combined heat and power (CHP) plants, contributing a ‘significant’ amount of carbon dioxide emissions in the next five years.
IEEFA recommends the use of waste heat recovery (WHR) – this is capturing and transferring the waste heat as a clean energy resource, compared to polluting coal CHP plants.
Gerard Wynn, IEEFA Energy Finance Consultant, said: “The choice now is between two profitable options, where fossil-free WHR has additional, longer-term benefits for the environment, climate and investment risk.”
IEEFA Energy Finance Analyst, Arjun Flora, said: “We conclude that national and local Polish leaders should be bolder in addressing the major energy transition taking place, and securing a domestic energy supply. Encouraging a switch from coal CHP to gas or biomass CHP, from one polluting combustion technology to slightly less-polluting ones, is too incremental. There are no dedicated policies at present to support a switch from coal CHP to WHR plants. Such support would offer better long-term value to consumers, as well as significant air quality and climate benefits to the population.”