September 17, 2020 Read More →

Coal-dependent Polish utility PGE commits to 100% zero emissions by 2050

Platts:

Poland’s largest utility, PGE Polska Grupa Energetyczna SA, is planning to phase out coal and offer zero emission energy by 2050, CEO Wojciech Dabrowski said Sep. 15.

“PGE, as the largest company in the sector, will play a key role in achieving zero emissions by Poland,” Dabrowski said at a Q2 results news conference. “Our strategic aspiration is to offer 100% green energy to PGE customers in 2050.”

Dabrowski said the company is working on an updated strategy for release in late autumn that will detail PGE’s green transformation. In the second quarter, 88% of the company’s 13.22 TWh generation was produced in the company’s five lignite and hard-coal-fired plants and two CHPs. Just 5% was generated from renewable sources, the rest from natural gas. PGE is planning to invest huge amounts to have 2.5 GW each in offshore wind and solar capacity by 2030.

PGE’s CEO said the company has decided to draw up a transformation plan for the company’s largest plant, the 4.93 GW lignite-fired facility in Belchatow. “Green investments can provide as many or even more jobs than current coal complexes,” he said. Dabrowski said PGE would also replace coal as the “basic fuel” for the company’s CHP and district heating plants with gas.

In reaction to the European Commission’s proposal to increase the bloc’s emission cuts from 40% to at least 55% from 1990 levels by 2030, Dabrowski expressed confidence that PGE could cope with such a target and was hoping to access funds from the EU’s Just Transition fund.

He said PGE supported the proposal to spin off the coal assets of the country’s three state-controlled utilities to a separate company that would be state-owned in order to help the power companies source funding for their green investments. He said the government had given preliminary agreement to the move and he expected a final decision following the cabinet reshuffle next month.

[Adam Easton]

More: Poland’s PGE targets zero carbon emissions by 2050: CEO

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