VERHEUGEN: POLAND SHOULD SWITCH TO SHALE GAS

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EU’s policy favours gas over coal, and therefore Poland should switch its energy business to the latter, with shale gas being the major option – said Günter Verheugen, former EU Commissioner for Enterprise and Industry.

During the recent UN negotiations in Qatar, Poland objected to the concept of EU increasing the planned carbon dioxide emission reduction from 20 to 30 percent by 2012. Polish Government insists on ‘low-emission’ rather than ‘no-coal’ policy, as giving up on coal would put Poland in over-dependence on gas imports from Russia.

- The best way for the Polish energy sector to cut its carbon dioxide emission would be to improve the efficiency of the existing power stations. The problem is that power station investments are costly and long-term oriented, with potential investors reluctant, partly due to the uncertainty weather the EU’s CO2 emission reduction is to drop by 20 or 30 percent – says Günter Verheugen.

Last November the European Parliament passed two reports on shale gas extraction – by Boguslaw Sonik and a Greek Eurodeputy Niki Tzavela. According to the reports, EU member states are to be free to decide for themselves whether to extract gas from shale. These reports express the European Parliament’s official position for the European Commission. The EC has been working on shale gas regulations to be published in the year to come.

- Shale gas development will serve our independence, increasing the security of supplies to a new level – says Günter Verheugen. – It is a matter of utmost importance and priority to confirm conclusively if shale gas can be extracted, in Poland and in other regions of European Union, in an environment-safe manner. Günter Verheugen believes Poland’s position on the issue to be rational, yet calling for strong lobbying among the other member states.

Source: forsal.pl

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