Extreme Coal - Poland's 96% Dependency Could Be World Record

Risk Of Acid Rain In Europe

Writing for TreeHugger does bring some unpleasant surprises. Last year I was astounded to learn that the US State of Utah gets 93% of its electricity from coal burning power plants. (See Coal Released Mercury Ruins Fishing and Duck Hunting.) How could it be any worse? Poland and surrounding central European nations, it seems, have the record for extreme coal dependency.

Financial Times reports that Poland gets 96% of it electricity from coal.

...coal-fired plants supply 96 per cent of Poland’s electricity and help explain why the country has been one of the least enthusiastic about the EU’s plan to curb greenhouse gases with the help of a revamped emissions trading scheme. Under the plan, utilities would be forced to buy their emissions allowances at auction from 2013 – an adjustment Poland believes could push up electricity prices by 90 per cent.
Via:Financial Times, Uphill struggle for coal-fired Poland

As you'd expect, Poland (and surrounding coal-dependent countries) are ground-zero for acid rain (as pictured). Which means that the mercury levels are nasty-plus.I don't even want to know what that remaining 4% of their electricity comes from.

Note to self:

When in Poland don't eat the fish.
Getting China to sign on to an updated Kyoto convention is going to be a cakewalk compared to working something constructive out with the almost completely coal-dependent Eastern European nations.

Image credit:UNEP Grid, ARENDAL, Acid rain in Europe
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