Jacek Sasin made the announcement in the southern Polish city of Katowice on Monday, the state PAP news agency reported.
Speaking at a session of the provincial Social Dialogue Council, Sasin said that Russia’s attack on Ukraine was forcing Poland “to rethink” its energy strategy.
Under the plan, Poland was to phase out coal by 2049 and rely temporarily on natural gas, before switching to a mix of renewable sources and nuclear power.
“However, the prices of energy resources, especially gas, have rocketed in the meantime, even before Russia’s attack on Ukraine,” Sasin said.
Coal instead of gas
The deputy prime minister, who is also minister for state assets, emphasised that Poland would renounce Russian gas by the end of 2022.
Even so, “relying on gas-fired power would … cause energy prices to go up very significantly,” Sasin warned.
“And so today we are taking action to eliminate this intermediate phase of energy transition,” he stated.
"Given the expensiveness of gas and the unstable nature of renewable sources of energy,” Poland must “modify its long-term coal strategy," Sasin told the gathering.
“We’ll need more coal and we’ll need it for much longer,” he said.
He noted that the government had decided to "shake off" Russian coal by May this year.
According to Sasin, “it would be best to replace it with home-based coal rather than imports from other countries.”
He insisted that Poland would not abandon energy transition, but "only adjust it to our conditions.”
“We are persuading our European partners that the new situation beyond our eastern border requires a rethink of the European Union’s climate policy,” Sasin also said.
Tuesday is day 41 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Source: IAR, PAP