The city of Gdańsk has approved a plan for the region entitled “A low-carbon economy Plan for Gdańsk”. All regions will need to issue such a plan in order to secure EU funding for an ambitious nationwide implementation.

image power plant Gdansk

A Gdańsk power station

Poland is Europe’s worst offender for pollution by highly carcinogenic “BaP” substances generated mainly from exhaust emissions, tobacco, burning of coal and burning of plastics. The concern is compounded as the same pollution affects livestock and the food grown both for them, and for humans.

The plan from Gdańsk authorities is an ambitious program to reduce air pollution. Within five years, about 51 percent of emissions of carcinogenic benzo(a)pyrene (BaP) could be reduced. Investments to improve the state of the air could reach up to 4 bln.

The plan for a low-carbon economy is a document that each region in Poland must develop to seek EU funds. The European Union in its new budget for the years 2015-20 includes a fund stream, which will contribute to the reduction of the emission of pollutants. Each recipient of the investment, for example, must concern the construction of new roads, tramways or bike routes, and must contain information to what extent it will decrease the emission of harmful pollutants. For this first you need a strategic plan, which will set up goals and investments, of which will serve them. Such a plan councilors in Gdansk adopted on Thursday.

Poland has double the BaP of Europe

image ambient concentrations of BaP in Europe

BaP in Europe 2012

Because, although the European Union mainly wants to reduce CO2 emissions, we in our plan we adopted as a key reduction of benzo (a) pyrene. Work on this document was an interdisciplinary, as it required knowledge-sharing between multiple sectors of the economy. We managed to count in detail, what part in energy consumption to individual sectors, such as lighting, transport, industry, households, schools and theaters. You can see what impact they have on carbon emissions and atmospheric pollution. Today we know that in order to make an effective challenge, we are both forced to modernise public transport and change the mentality of the inhabitants, who warm their houses traditional furnaces. Our plan is to address a long list of activities, of which the effect is supposed to be, inter alia, the reduction of emissions of benzo (a) pyrene by as much as 50 percent.
– Maciej Lorek, Director of the Department of the environment at the Town Hall in Gdansk.

The plan was adopted Thursday, and includes a long 115-step list of actions requiring more than 4 billion złoty. Some of the key points include new cycle paths, lighting upgrades, newer trams and buses, new tram lines and connections, modernisation of buildings especially thermal efficiency, and connecting buildings to the municipal heating network.

The largest effects of pollution limits will bring us two key gains, the decommissioning of the old boiler, and the urban connection of [Grupa] GPEC local heating as many residents, who today use coal-fired furnaces.
We are not able to force residents to take down stoves and connect to the network, but we will in many ways use GPEC to encourage this. Environmental grants will be available for those who will want to eliminate their furnaces, and for those people, for which the connection to the network will be too costly or impossible, GPEC will create a coal-fired furnaces Exchange program on ecological fuel-powered, or replace.
– Lorek

The target figures are to reduce BaPs by a massive 51 percent, articulate matter by about 7.7%, carbon dioxide, about 2.5% and reducing overall energy consumption in Gdansk, about 3 percent.

Already positive moves made

GPEC have already been busy, just decommissioning a coal-fired boiler house a week ago, after a 10-month implementation project of a new plant with 4km of connections, crossing two rivers.

Together with our partners we have, inter alia, the complicated task of overrun of the Motława River, using technology controlled under which it was necessary to simultaneously drag down four pipelines. It was the first such execution in Europe.
Another interesting challenge was to include a hot steam/water pipeline under the bridge Siennicki, which required working off a barge.
– Łukasz Pawłowski, Director GPEC development

The cost of the project is approximately 36 million złoty. The investment was financed in the framework of the provincial Fund for environmental protection “KAWKA for Pomerania-low emission limit (2014).”

By winding up the boiler room Zawiślańskiej Street dust emissions will fall by more than 37 tons of carbon dioxide a year. These actions will translate directly to the comfort of life, primarily on the health of the inhabitants of the districts of Stacks and processing
-Maciej Kazienko, Deputy Chairman of the Board WFOŚiGW Gdańsk.

GPEC’s Grzegorz Blachowski also advises of further targets.

  • Trying to get to EU funds for activities in the areas of revitalisation, such as Oliwa, Orunia, Nowy Port, Wrzeszcz
  • Action for new neighbourhoods such as Szadółki, Młode Miasto, Kowale and Jasień
  • Investment in heat distribution network will ensure greater security of supply heat and hot water for the residents
  • Funding would also be on the expansion of the network in the southern districts of Gdańsk, Orunia, Lipce, Piecki – Migowo, Jasień, Kokoszki, Ujeścisko, Łostowice or Stogi.
  • Funding will be possible on an even larger scale district heating network upgrades in selected critical stretches of Gdańsk.

In October of last year the Group also submitted a funding application GPEC “KAWKA for Pomerania-low emission reduction”. The aim of the next edition of the program is the liquidation of old coal-fired furnaces and connect buildings using them so far to the municipal district heating network, which is currently the most eco-friendly and safe source of heat in urban agglomerations.

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