September 8, 2020 Read More →

Poland planning to speed coal plant closures, replace capacity with nuclear and renewables

Reuters:

Poland wants to speed up phasing out coal and spend billions to build renewable and nuclear power infrastructure to address challenges related to climate change and ensure stable power supplies, the government said on Tuesday.

In an update of its energy strategy by 2040, the climate ministry said Poland plans to invest 150 billion zlotys ($40 billion) to build its first nuclear power plants, with 6-9 GW of capacity eventually. The first 1-1.6 GW facility would be up and running by 2033.

It also plans to build 8-11 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind capacity by 2040 with investment estimated at 130 billion zlotys. The development of renewable and nuclear energy facilities will create 300,000 jobs, it said.

Poland has been the only European Union state to refuse to pledge climate neutrality by 2050, with the ruling Law and Justice party saying that it needs more time and money to shift its economy from coal to cleaner energy sources. But rising carbon emission costs, the European Union’s ambitious climate policies and the coronavirus outbreak are forcing Warsaw to speed up its energy transformation.

In the updated energy strategy, which still needs to be approved by government, the climate ministry said that coal’s share in electricity production will fall to 37%-56% in 2030 and to 11-28% in 2040, depending on the carbon emission costs. In November 2019 Poland had expected the share of coal at 56%-60% in 2030 and at 28% in 2040.

Following the announcement, shares in Polish utilities jumped on the view that these companies would benefit from phasing out coal more quickly.

[Agnieszka Barteczko]

More: Poland to accelerate coal phase-out, spend billions on renewable and nuclear energy

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