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Poland Sets Eyes On Renewables

In the past, the Polish government has repeatedly lobbied for coal mining in the EU. Now, however, Warsaw is discovering a new form of energy production - all eyes on offshore wind energy.

Image: PixabayImage: Pixabay

You might call Poland's goal anything but ambitious, but nevertheless it's remarkable what Energy Minister Krzysztof Tchorzewski told news agency Reuters in Copenhagen on Monday: Poland wants to reduce the share of coal in its energy mix to 50 percent by 2050. Just as a comparison: the U.S. state of California has just this week committed itself to converting its energy supply to 100 percent renewables by 2045.

Nevertheless this announcement is quite sensational for Poland, because up to shortly the Polish government was the biggest advocate of coal-fired power generation within the EU. No wonder: at the moment almost 80 percent of the country's energy comes from coal.

However, after the EU has recently warned the country, Poland cannot help but give in at least a little. By 2020, the share of renewable energies in the EU countries must be 15 percent, otherwise penalties will be imposed. In addition, the increasingly bad air is causing problems for more and more citizens in Eastern Europe. This in turn has an impact on the workforce and at the same time throws a bad light on Poland in the eyes of potential foreign investors.

However, in the offshore wind sector in particular, the country has quite a large untapped potential. The falling costs of the industry also make it easier for Poland to establish its own offshore industry. Poland's increasing energy demand currently requires investments in power generation, but at the same time offers the prospect of job creation and completely new energy security.

Pierre Tardieu of WindEurope recently remarked at a conference in Poland that the Polish transmission system operator only announced at the beginning of the year that the system could accommodate 4 GW of offshore wind by 2026. The potential for the timely development of an offshore industry is therefore there.

"Offshore wind power will definitely become an important part of the mix," explains Tchorzewski. "We are doing everything we can to ensure that the decision on the first offshore wind farm is made before 2020."

That would certainly be a positive signal for the world climate conference COP24 in December in Katowice, Poland.

Windfair Staff
Poland, offshore, wind energy, coal, EU, penalty, potential

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