The purpose of the article was to characterize the international steam coal market based on the latest available data. The information goes back to the first half of 2018. The article focuses on the description of the three largest exporters and importers of steam coal. Representatives in these categories were selected using the latest global statistics on 2017. In 2017, global production of steam coal amounted to 5.68 billion tons and exceeded production in 2016 by 4%. For several years, invariably the world’s leading exporters of steam coal are: Indonesia, Australia and Russia. In total, these three countries in 2017 supplied 73% of steam coal to the international market. However, for the 46% of global steam coal imports (data for 2017), three Asian countries are responsible: China, India and Japan. For each of the six listed countries (i.e. for: three major global exporters and three major global importers), the paper presents volumes related to coal production, export or import. The directions of deliveries or major coal exporters to a given country were also included. At the end of the article, the price situation was presented, as it appeared in the first half of 2018 on the European and Asian markets.
The functioning of European economies and societies requires a stable and sustainable supply of mineral resources. For 10 years now EU has been developing raw materials initiative to secure European minerals supply. In many cases, areas with known or hypothetic mineral resources, are not sufficiently valued by society and authorities, remain unprotected and face competing land uses with the risk of becoming sterilized. MINATURA 2020 project was born out of a need to develop a harmonised framework which allow a common way of identifying “mineral deposits of public importance” (MDoPI) and their safeguarding via land use planning. The project has left a useful set of guidelines and proposals how to advance on the creation of a European network of MDoPIs to avoid sterilization of “deposits worth safeguarding”. In Poland, the need for legal protection of mineral deposits has been discussed intensively in recent years. Various proposals aimed at better system of mineral deposits safeguarding, especially those which should be recognized as of public importance, have been proposed. However, until now only a few coal deposits were recognized as strategic. Currently, the Polish National Mineral Policy is under preparation. Its overriding objective is to provide access to the necessary minerals, also in the longterm perspective. It assumes among others activities aimed at protection of mineral deposits regarding land use planning system. Paper presents scope and general results of MINATURA2020 project, with details on MINATURA2020 methodology implementation in Poland, Project of the Polish National Mineral Policy with its objectives and key pillars, position of MDoPIs in this Project, and – finally – expected future steps related to MDoPI safeguarding in EU and in Poland.
Ensuring the security of power generation systems is a pillar of the proper functioning of each state. Energy security is fundamental to ensure both economic growth and social welfare. As energy storage has not developed in an efficient extent, covering the current and prospective power demand is a major challenge for transmission system operators. Moreover, the activities that are to be taken should be technically and economically justified and need to meet the requirements of environmental protection. Cooperation between neighboring countries in the field of electricity exchange is among the activities undertaken to ensure the safety of the power generation systems. The integration of electricity markets is one of the key challenges of the European Union’s energy policy. The European Commission issued a directive on interconnection, according to which the capacity of interconnections should total 10% of installed capacity until 2020 (and 15% until 2030) in each Member State. The main objective of this study is to assess the changes in electricity imports and exports in 2003–2018 and to investigate the current level of cross-border exchanges between Poland and the neighboring countries. This paper also answers the question of whether Poland will fulfil the obligations set by the European Commission. In addition, the paper presents the risks and the challenges related to fulfilling the mentioned commitments. The results of the study indicate that the development and modernization of network infrastructure in the field of cross-border exchange are necessary because, in the context of the forecasted increase in electricity demand, Polish generation units will not be able to meet the demand.