In an interview with state news agency PAP published on Sunday, Kurtyka said that the country is “entering a period when the transformation of the Polish energy system is becoming increasingly urgent”.
“70% of our power generation units are over 30 years old and will need to be replaced within two decades. We must make this effort not only because of the climate policy, but mainly because of their old age”, Kurtyka said.
He added that this transformation will cost billions, and that within a decade nearly PLN 60 bn (EUR 13 bn, USD 16 bn) will go to regions most dependent on coal such as Poland’s southern coal mining region of Silesia.
When asked by PAP about challenges for 2021, Kurtyka replied that one of the key projects is preparing a plan dubbed “Poland’s energy policy until 2040”.
The plan assumes, among other things, withdrawal of coal from use in individual heating until 2030 in cities and until 2040 in rural areas. Depending on CO2 prices, 11-28% of electricity is to be produced from hard coal in 2040. The plan also envisions the construction of nuclear power plants in Poland, as well as a significant increase in renewable energy sources such as offshore wind farms.
The project also “takes into account new conditions related to the challenges of climate policy, just transformation, air protection, and the COVID-19 pandemic as well”, Kurtyka said.
At the end of 2020, EU countries agreed to increase their CO2 reduction target for 2030 by 55% from 40%.