Brown Bag (Lunch) Seminar: The Fantasy of an Innovative Coal Sector by 2040: Uncovering the National Innovation System in Poland
Uncompleted draft – do not cite. A draft chapter for the book: Energy Cultures: Technology, justice, and geopolitics in Eastern Europe, to be published with Edward Elgar in 2020.
By Michael LaBelle, Associate Professor and Jean Monnet Chair in Energy and Innovation Strategies Central European University, Department of Environmental Sciences and Policy and Department of Economics and Business
(The framework National Innovation System is not discussed in this chapter but will be outlined and discussed in the presentation on March 18, 2019)
Coal and other fossil fuels are not dead in Poland. Rather innovative technologies, business models and efficient and effective use of resources and cutting-edge technology are fueling and sustaining a moderate level of coal output and use. Gas usage is increasing. Imports of both coal and gas are increasing. While Russian coal imports rise, Poland is diversifying its gas imports routes, away from Russia and through LNG and interconnectors to other countries. Despite these efforts by the national government, local and regional governments are transforming their energy system to tackle air pollution and increasingly insufficient generation capacity by investing in renewable energy and energy efficiency. A bifurcated energy system is developing where the national government attempts to retain fossil fuels justified by energy security and costs, while the local level must clean the environment and reduce demand. The local strategy is to invests in cost-efficient methods for heating, electricity production and reducing energy demand through efficiency improvements, including digital solutions. This chapter focuses on this emerging split between an innovative energy system and the attempt to retain coal.