There are still more than 3.5 million Poles who heat their homes with 'fossil fuels', in which they burn coal that does not meet any standards. Meanwhile, Poland is a producer of pellets - a clean fuel, but one that is 90% exported.
Every year, Poles buy around 10 million tonnes of coal fuel to heat their homes. Within this mass, as much as one million tonnes is sludge - a waste product generated during the sorting and washing of coal ore. Its combustion makes us the most polluted country in the EU, with around 45 000 Poles dying prematurely every year.
How to deal with this problem? There are also solid fuels that can be an alternative to coal, such as pellets, produced from wood waste: sawdust, chips, woodchips.
Around 650,000-700,000 tonnes of pellets are produced annually in Poland. As much as half a million is exported to Western European countries. Pellets are a more environmentally friendly and efficient fuel than other solid fuels such as coal.
As a result, in Western European countries there are strong tax preferences for pellet customers at both the energy and individual customer level. In Poland, VAT on pellets is 23 per cent, compared to 7 per cent in Germany or France.
In Poland, the price of pellets is 15-20 per cent higher than that of eco-pea.