As of 2015, lignite output was equal to its consumption in Poland and amounted to 63.13 million tonnes.
Poland’s anticipated economic resources are estimated at 23.52 billion tonnes of lignite (as of 31 December 2015). However, the resources of exploited deposits are much lower (1.42 billion tonnes) and, assuming the existing level of the output, they would be sufficient for about 22 years.
After 2022 lignite output rate may drop dramatically, unless new deposits are exploited in the meantime.
Due to the environmental protection and land conservation concerns (considering a high productivity of the soils), potential exploitation of lignite deposits raises disputes and conflicts between local communities, environmental organisations and protagonists of deposit development.
A fall in production of lignite-derived electricity will inevitably follow a dwindling lignite output.
Power plant - "Turów"
Poland’s demand for lignite is controlled by the following factors:
- strategic factors – the adopted national energy and raw materials policy option and international climate policy;
- economic factors – capital investments in the deve¬lopment of new deposits and construction of new power plants;
- social factors – public consent for building new mines.
According to the International Energy Agency, world demand for primary energy will continue to grow till 2035 and fossil fuels – including lignite – will remain the key energy resources.
Power plant - "Bełchatów"
* anticipated economic resources – resources in a deposit (or in a part thereof) that meet the limit values of the parameters that define the deposit (according to the Regulation of the Minister of the Environment of 15 July on the detailed require¬ments for geological documentation of mineable deposits other than hydrocarbons – 2015 Official Journal, Item 987)