Poland’s Minister of Climate Michał Kurtyka emphasized at the Karpacz Economic Forum yesterday that this is the first time in Polish history when the government is devoting such a large sum for transforming the energy industry.
He added that Poland’s five coal mining regions will have to use the funds to find sensible and good economic projects.
A proper strategy for transformation in those regions will be ready by the end of 2020 and the first projects will begin in early 2021.
Kurtyka noted that his ministry had previously completed the consultation phase of the 2040 Polish Energy Policy project. He explained that compared to the previous plans, the project has been enhanced by experience with the coronavirus pandemic, dynamic technology development and the opportunities presented by the Recovery Plan for Europe which has funds dedicated to ease Europe’s transition away from fossil fuels.
The minister believes that “fair transformation” must be the engine for change in Polish energy, and that workplaces in traditional energy industries must be replaced by workplaces in other industries.
He reminded that many of the funds from the EU Recovery Plan will be given for transport, energy and industry projects.
Kurytka stressed that the biggest challenge for Poland in the next 20 years will be to create a low- and non-emission energy industry which will be comparable in size to the current system. He believes that with the right policies, Poland can generate 300,000 new jobs over the next 20 years due to the country’s energy transformation.
The minister says this is to be achieved by opening six nuclear blocks with a combined power of seven to nine gigawatts and the development of wind energy at sea, which will produce 11 gigawatts of power.
“Energy transformation is an unprecedented challenge, but also a huge opportunity,” he stated.
The minister claims that owing to the planned transformation, particular Polish regions should reach energy balance, which after a long transition period, demand for energy will become balanced with supply.