The climate transition of the energy sector has been locked in at the very heart of the Natolin Energy and Climate Nest programme of activities. Therefore, on 13 April 2023, Natolin students had the possibility to take part in a special field trip to the Bełchatów Power Plant & Lignite Mine organised by the Nest.
Visiting the lignite mine and power plant in Bełchatów allowed Natolin students to learn about the transition-related challenges as identified by the integrated lignite and power generation by the company. Some of the topics that were covered during the visit included:
- Geological, ecological and economic aspects of lignite mining; social acceptance and development perspectives in the context of the 2050 carbon net zero objective;
- EU climate policy, including EU ETS and Fit for 55 package, from the perspective of PGE Group; impact on economics of lignite-based power generation in mid- and long-term;
- The decarbonisation strategy of PGE Group and its reference to just transition of Bełchatów region, with focus on key transformative measures/projects and financing sources; cooperation with local/regional stakeholders.
About the Bełchatów Power Plant & Lignite Mine
Located in the centre of Poland since the late 1990s, the Bełchatów Power Plant produces about 20% of electricity in Poland. The Bełchatów Power Plant remains the largest lignite-fired power plant in Europe and plays a very important, stabilizing role in the Polish electricity system. The fuel is supplied from the nearby Bełchatów Lignite Mine. The latter has been operating since 1975 and has already extracted over 1.2 billion tons of lignite, removing over 4.2 billion m3 of overburden. It is the largest and the most modern facility of this type in Poland. Giant excavators have been mining lignite here since 1980. Extracted lignite is transported by conveyors to the nearby Bełchatów Power Plant, where it is burned and converted into electricity and heat, which at the end reaches our homes.