An appeal to the Climate Minister: we need quality standards for the coal and pellets we are selling!

The Deputy Marshal of the Małopolska Region, Tomasz Urynowicz, made an appeal to the Minister of Climate, Michał Kurtyka, to prepare new quality standards for approved coal and to prepare such standards for pellets. No quality regulations regulate the sale of this biofuel. Pellet furnaces are increasingly being chosen as a source of heat in view of limited access to gas and heating infrastructure. This is the case both in newly built houses and when replacing old type boilers.

The good news is that in less than a month, on 1 July 2020, the ban on the sale of coal slurries comes into force. In Małopolska, the anti-smog resolution has not allowed their use for three years. The availability of fine coal on the market severely limited the effectiveness of regional regulations. And yet it is the regulations at the government level that should be the pillar supporting local and regional activities. This is why we are asking for a review of existing regulations and the introduction of stricter requirements for solid fuels.

explains Deputy Marshal Tomasz Urynowicz

Quality standards for coal

The Małopolska initiative appeared because, pursuant to Article 3a of the Act on the system for monitoring and controlling fuel quality, the Minister for Energy should review the quality requirements for solid fuels at least once every two years, and the results of this review constitute a basis for changing standards. The two-year period for the introduction in Poland of regulations governing the requirements for commercially available coal is now passing, and therefore their review is legally justified. It is also advisable because the quality requirements for coal, as set out in the Regulation of the Minister of Energy of 2018, are different from those imposed by European standards, setting out the criteria for emissions and efficiency of heating boilers. Meanwhile, the use of insufficient quality fuel even in modern, certified furnaces does not guarantee the reduction of air pollution.

Quality standards for pellets

It is also important to introduce quality standards for the increasingly popular pellets. In Poland, there are no regulations concerning its composition and production. It is therefore impossible to eliminate from the sale of poor-quality pellets containing large quantities of mineral substances (e.g. ash) and even plastics. Users of pellet boilers are not aware that the fuel they use has not much in common with the struggle for clean air.

I hope that the Ministry of the Climate will quickly work on preparing new quality standards for solid fuels permitted for sale. The new regulations should guarantee the possibility of meeting emission levels for solid fuel furnaces, as defined in the EU Ecodesign Regulation. This will lead to a rapid improvement in air quality in Poland.

 concludes Tomasz Urynowicz.