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Old November 8th, 2017, 11:15 AM   #37441
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Oil is still used in Germany.
The building where I lived in Inoglstadt, did.
They only switched to gas 2 years ago...
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Old November 8th, 2017, 11:29 AM   #37442
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You can see the difference between Belgium and the Netherlands. In Belgium they use oil for heating (they call it 'mazout') and Belgium suffers much more from winter smog than the Netherlands.
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Old November 8th, 2017, 04:30 PM   #37443
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Netherlands is the ideal country to get more 'district heating'
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Old November 8th, 2017, 07:38 PM   #37444
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Oil started becoming popular in Poland in the late 1990s, but it quickly became very expensive and this killed its popularity. Many people (and even public institutions) converted their heating systems back to coal after that.

Throughout the whole period after the WW2 till the 1980s, the coal was considered a "national treasure" of Poland, the thing we have a lot of and which was supposed to bring a lot of money.

Interestingly, nowadays, many of the coal mines in Poland do not even bring any profit. The state is forced to maintain them because otherwise many people would get unemployed and this would result with social problems.

And one of the reasons why it's no longer so profitable is that the coal imported from Czech Republic, Russia or even Australia is cheaper (although in practice, the Czech one is of much worse quality, in case of the Russian one it's quite random - it can be very good but it can also be bad).

We have natural resources of coal, we don't have (except for some small amounts) resources of oil. We import oil (and natural gas) from Russia, but which country wants to be energetically dependent on Russia?

The West isn't helping us in that terms too. Germans were building a gas pipeline from Russia a few years ago, and... they neglected Poland by building it on the bottom of the Baltic Sea.

I have read about many cases from the towns and villages with gas networks, where everyone was using natural gas for heating in the communist times, but after 1989 they switched to coal due to increasing gas prices. Nowadays, the natural gas is not so much more expensive than coal (considering also that the technology of gas boilers has vastly improved in the last years and now they are more energy-efficient than before), but still there is this belief in the society that coal is much cheaper than other fuels.

Not to mention those idiots burning things other than wood and coal. Even though someone calculated that they don't really earn much doing it, the energy content in the things like household trash is very low.
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Old November 9th, 2017, 02:23 PM   #37445
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Bilbao , the best european city 2018 ( The urbanism Awards 2018 )

http://albacus.com/wp-content/upload...o-Panorama.jpg

Bilbao Jardín 2011 ( nº 15 ) by Eduardo Arostegui, en Flickr

Plaza Indautxu by Aitor Vilchez, en Flickr

ES_Bilbo_04_17_C_342 by Tai Pan of HK, en Flickr
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Old November 10th, 2017, 06:52 PM   #37446
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It could be good for a general railway thread, but I can't find one, so I post it here.

Passengers of a diesel train in Kvasy, Ukraine had to push it to help start the engines:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hipolit View Post
It seems the condition of batteries was so bad.
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Old November 10th, 2017, 07:11 PM   #37447
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Ukraine
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Old November 10th, 2017, 07:37 PM   #37448
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Speaking of gas heating (and Russia)
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Old November 10th, 2017, 09:00 PM   #37449
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We had two big gas explosions in Łódź in 1980s. In the same neighborhood. The main reason was recognized as wrong design of the delivery system. It was a high pressure system, which meant that even a small leakage causes a big amount of gas leaked and a very likely explosion from any small spark. There were 10 persons killed, so little probably only thanks to the fact that most people living there were at work at the moment of the explosions. The first explosion was probably because of corroded gas pipes, the second one because of a gas pipe broken by an excavator.

The building had district heating, the gas was delivered for cooking.

Currently, most gas explosions that happen in Poland are in the buildings not connected to the gas network, where people use individual gas cylinders for gas cookers.

Also from gas heaters used for heating where there is no central heating and no electric power:

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Old November 10th, 2017, 11:59 PM   #37450
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
You can see the difference between Belgium and the Netherlands. In Belgium they use oil for heating (they call it 'mazout') and Belgium suffers much more from winter smog than the Netherlands.
The emissions of oil heating are not very different from the other sources, if the equipment is in a good condition. A modern oil burner runs at the efficiency rate of 95 per cent, and does not create smog.
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Old November 11th, 2017, 12:18 AM   #37451
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And this is how it normally looks in Poland:



This is a photo from... April 2010 (taken in the city of Bielsko-Biała, with Sony Ericsson K800i which was still quite a popular model at those times - how this time passes!), but now it isn't different.

It's sad and I really hope it will finally change.
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Old November 11th, 2017, 02:44 PM   #37452
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
The Netherlands has used natural gas for heating since they discovered a huge gas field in the 1960s. The entire country was connected to gas pipes so things like oil or coal to heat houses has been extremely uncommon since, in contrast to Belgium where oil is still commonly used in rural areas.
Not only in rural area's. Heating oil is widespread in cities as well. The appartment block I live in has 37 appartments and are heated by a central giant mazout bruner. I say that of all homes that use conventional heating the rate is 50/50 between heating oil and gas. My parents had heating oil in their old home in the city and they have heating oil now that they live in a village outside the city.

What is also more prevelant in Belgium compaired to the Netherlands is wood burning stoves. A lot of homes have a modern stove for wood burning and people do actively warm their living room with it during cold days.It creates a lot of smog on wind still days.

The little cold snap last week promptly made PM2.5 levels surge to above 100micrograms in many places. Yesterday bad air quality was reported between Gent and Kortrijk, PM2?5 levels surged to above 150micrograms for several hours. Today for instance some places also have readings between 70 and 80 micrograms (athough most are below 40). Wich is bad for european standards.

[IMG]PM levels by Joshua Radoes, on Flickr[/IMG]
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Last edited by joshsam; November 11th, 2017 at 03:02 PM.
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Old November 11th, 2017, 03:19 PM   #37453
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joshsam View Post

The little cold snap last week promptly made PM2.5 levels surge to above 100micrograms in many places. Yesterday bad air quality was reported between Gent and Kortrijk, PM2?5 levels surged to above 150micrograms for several hours. Today for instance some places also have readings between 70 and 80 micrograms (athough most are below 40). Wich is bad for european standards.
To compare the Dutch readings:

1. A station in Ossendrecht, close to the Belgian border. Highest peak was around 60 yesterday (when you measured 150)


2. A station in Hilversum, central Netherlands, readings spike around 30.


Quite a difference.
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Old November 11th, 2017, 06:46 PM   #37454
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kpc21 View Post

Interestingly, nowadays, many of the coal mines in Poland do not even bring any profit. The state is forced to maintain them because otherwise many people would get unemployed and this would result with social problems.

And one of the reasons why it's no longer so profitable is that the coal imported from Czech Republic, Russia or even Australia is cheaper (although in practice, the Czech one is of much worse quality, in case of the Russian one it's quite random - it can be very good but it can also be bad).
How interesting, the decline of the coal mining industry in the UK and all the unresolved social problems that accompanied it is often blamed partly of 'cheap Polish coal' (placing blame on the relevant authorities for importing it, not on Polish miners for extracting it). I wonder if the same will happen in Poland eventually, will the government support the mines forever?

Last edited by DanielFigFoz; November 11th, 2017 at 08:04 PM.
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Old November 11th, 2017, 07:33 PM   #37455
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Perhaps it is not clear for every one, what AQI means. It is not the concentration of anything in the air, but a converted index. AQI below 50 means good, 50-100 high but OK, 100-200 bad, etc.
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Old November 11th, 2017, 07:58 PM   #37456
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What are the websites with smog data you take the information from?

DanielFigFoz, you are talking about the UK, right?

Then it's interesting In Poland, some people are blaming the cheap Russian/Czech coal for the problems, you blame our coal for them

From what I read, Germany is gonna end their black coal mining next year. They mine also brown coal, but it's not used by individuals, as it must be burned as soon as it's possible once it's excavated (otherwise it loses its properties and you can no longer gain so much energy from it), so it's typically burnt in power plants directly next to the mines.

And I have recently jumped into websites of some German manufacturers/distributors of coal stoves, specially claiming that the fuel will still be available after 2018

Probably imported from Poland.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanielFigFoz View Post
I wonder if the same will happen in Poland eventually, will the government support the mines forever?
Probably yes. But now, the miners are seemingly a too big part of the electorate to try doing any harm to them.

Concerning the brown coal, the biggest producer of it is Germany. And the biggest coal power plant in Europe (second biggest in the world - the biggest one is in Taiwan), which is supplied by a nearby lying brown coal mine, is in Bełchatów, Poland.

In terms of electricity production, there is no alternative for coal in Poland. We have no nuclear power plants (one started being built, but the construction was stopped just after the Chernobyl disaster), and not enough natural resources of other fuels. And wind energy is also not a solution because it's too unstable.
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Old November 11th, 2017, 08:07 PM   #37457
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Yes, sorry, I thought I had written 'in the UK', but I guess I must have forgotten. Rectified now.

I guess what you say about the electorate is the difference then, the British government of the 1980s had no fear of losing the miners' votes, they never would have had them in the first place.

What sort of wages do Polish miners earn?
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Old November 11th, 2017, 08:17 PM   #37458
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Quote:
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Perhaps it is not clear for every one, what AQI means. It is not the concentration of anything in the air, but a converted index. AQI below 50 means good, 50-100 high but OK, 100-200 bad, etc.
Different AQI's exists. I found out that Josham's source uses the U.S. AQI, which is different from the EU AQI.

But even on that map you can see a substantial difference in air quality between the Netherlands. Southern Netherlands AQI readings are - as of this post - all under 20, while in Belgium it is in the 40-70 range.
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Old November 11th, 2017, 09:00 PM   #37459
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanielFigFoz View Post
What sort of wages do Polish miners earn?
No idea actually. Maybe someone else will know.

Some data are here: http://slaskie.naszemiasto.pl/artyku...t,t,id,tm.html - no idea how accurate those data are - the media have a tendency to tell that people earn much than they do in fact.

The amounts are gross.

2500 zł (580 euro) - a junior miner
3400 zł (800 euro) + 1156 zł (270 euro) bonus + 36 zł (8,4 euro)/day guaranteed bonus + physically 8 tonnes of coal or 550 zł (130 euro) paid monthly for 8 months as another bonus - a miner who has worked for 18 years
3542 zł (820 euro) - mine electrician who has worked for 3 years + some bonuses
Those are lowest, they can range up to over 5000 zł (1150 euro) for a miner with a few years of experience, probably dependent on the specific mine.
Specialists like electricians, machine operators, ironworkers, as well as people on higher posts will earn more. Some more important people can earn even up to 10 000 zł (2300 euro).

Now let's look at the comments to check how accurate those data are.

A user who is a miner, is 30 years old, has worked 7 years 957 m under the ground, earned about 2000 zł (450 euro) monthly. When he worked for 2 weekends, he earned 2300 zł (530 euro). Now he moved to another mine and earns 3000 zł - 3500 zł (700 - 800 euro) net.

Someone else says he earns 1600 zł (370 euro) net, he is an electrician and has 4 years of experience.

So it can be really variable. Some people complain in the comments that the amounts from the article are much higher than in reality, but they seem to forget that the article shows the gross amounts. While in fact, a salary of 5000 zł gross means a salary of 3500 zł net.

So the wages can differ from very small to maybe not big, but reasonable. I have, for example, an experienced high school teacher in my school, and what she earns is, let's say, 2500-3000 zł net.

The miners' profession was very respected in the communist times. They earned kind of more, were getting some free coal as a bonus (some still do, but not all of them), in some period they had also special shops, which were much better supplied than those available for normal people. They still retire after only 25 years of work. But this is also due to difficult and unhealthy conditions in the mines.
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Old November 12th, 2017, 12:52 AM   #37460
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Speaking of gas heating (and Russia)
After all, it is believed that the gas explosion was not caused by a leakage, but it was deliberated action by a resident who had some troubles with others.
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