Old King Coal (the Pole)

In their determination not to participate actively in the EU emission trading scheme, Polish power plants are aiming further to boost their output. At a conference in Warsaw yesterday on the EU scheme, the head of electrical utility mammoth Electroplod said defiantly: “We aren’t going to be bullied by Brussels. We are a coal-based nation, and production is King. Who cares about a stupid surplus of EU allowances? Two billion Euros? It’s only computers and electrons afterall, isn’t it, ” he thundered. “We’re going to use up every single allowance, whatever it takes. Waste not want not. etc. etc.”

His comments were echoed by others at the conference. “We are a coal-based nation, and by boosting production for the sake of production, we are following in the footsteps of a proud economic tradition established by those gone before us,” said Ladislaw Lignitszky, spokesman for the Union of Polish Energy Workers, munching on a nugget of “Silesian Optimum”.

The Wroclaw Institute of Theoretical Geophysics, which has been working on ways of boosting demand for Polish electricity for some time, announced successful trials of its underground electrical storage technology. According to Heinz Chemnitz-Voltawiecz, chief engineer, they have perfected a way of storing large amounts of electricity in disused salt-mines. A roll-out of this technology across Poland, costing little more than 200bn euro, will enable us to store hundreds of terawatt hours at a time. Quite soon we will be able to double demand for Polish brown power. We are applying for European Union grants,” he added.

EU energy spokesperson Ms Edwige Vosges-Schrapnelveröffnung dismissed concerns about a potential EU electricity lake. “There are many ways for us to stimulate demand for Polish electricity. She cited as an example a recent EU grant to the Katowice-based Industrial Performance Artist Group which has launched a network of energy intense “performance installations”.

Surely the greatest of these is the “Transmittal” a fully operational 2,000 MW transcendental electric-powered steel mill, suspended across the mouth of the river Vistula. Running 24 hours a day 365 days a year, the mill recycles and rerolls a vast ingot of high-grade steel, in a gigantic, continuous loop. As the metal issues from the mill, resident artists carve indiginous motifs on its warm, virgin, surface. The images shimmer momentarily, before sliding back into the oblivion of the furnace.

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