Energy Revolution in Poland will be beneficial for the Polish economy
Poland can cut coal demand by half by 2030 – 100,000 new jobs in renewable energy
Warszawa/Hamburg 25th October 2013: By 2030 Poland can halve its coal demand, quadruple its renewable energy use and create 100,000 new jobs in the energy sector, equalling employment in the country’s coal industry. These are the key findings of a new report “Energy [R]evolution for Poland” which proves that the Polish economy can cut its reliance on coal and abandon costly plans for new lignite opencast mines.
The Polish government’s policy Energy Policy of Poland until 2030 assumes that the energy sector will largely continue to rely on burning fossil fuels, especially coal. But experts argue that instead an ‘energy revolution’ is possible by changing the structure of the energy market and shifting production towards renewable sources.
“Poland does not have to remain dependent on coal. Now is the best time for the Polish government to change its policy and base its energy security mainly on decentralized renewable energy sources and energy efficiency. Contrary to the often repeated common myth, it would not destroy Polish economy and would actually bring down energy bills. If the sector takes a green turn, after 2030 energy costs per unit for consumers are predicted to fall very quickly, reaching8.2 euro cents/kWh by 2050, but in the business as usual scenario these costs could soar to 11.8 cents/kWh over the same period. This translates into higher economic benefits,” says Anna Ogniewska, Greenpeace Poland climate and energy campaigner.
· Key results of the new Energy [R]evolution scenario for Poland:
· Energy-related CO2 emissions reduced by 50% (compared to 1990 levels)
· Renewable energy use increased from 7.8% (2010) to 26.8% (2030)
· Coal power plant capacity from 120 TWh to 60 TWh
· By 2020 up to 2.5 million mainly small scale biomass and solar community- and private investors initiated projects contribute to wide acceptance across the Polish society.
· Over 100,000 direct jobs created in the renewable energy sector, equal to Poland’s current workforce in the coal industry
“Spinning Poland´s energy supply on its head by exchanging coal with renewables makes economic sense, decreases reliance on energy imports and increases security of supply while increasing employment opportunities in the energy sector”, says Sven Teske, Renewable Energy Director of Greenpeace International.
“The Polish government should be more serious about taking action to cut CO2 emissions. Instead of getting to grip with the country’s addiction to polluting coal, the Polish government is planning to build new open pit lignite mines. If that plan succeeds, then Poland will burn thousands of tons of lignite and will keep its dependency on fossil fuels for decades. In the 21st century there is no need any more to dig for the last bit of fossil fuel let in order to keep the economy going. It is time to invest in the renewable energy sector,” added Ogniewska.
The Report is published at a crucial moment for the worldwide fight against climate change. Only two weeks ahead of the UN Climate Talks in Warsaw, its findings put the spot on the host of the Climate Talks, the Polish Government. ” The Energy [R]evolution report clearly shows that the Polish economy's reliance on coal is not a given fact but a result of misguided policies. For too long the government has argued that Poland cannot switch to renewables, which is now shown not to be the case. Prime Minister Tusk now needs new arguments if he still wants to block progressive EU climate policies and progressive positions of the international community.” said Ogniewska..
The new Energy [R]evolution scenario for Poland has been developed by the Warsaw-based Institute for Renewable Energy (IEO), DLR (Germany’s aeronautics and space research Centre), the European Renewable Energy Council (EREC), the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) and Greenpeace.
Sven Teske, Greenpeace International, Renewable Energy Director + 49 171 8787552 sven.teske(at)greenpeace.org
Anna Ogniewska, Energy Campaigner, Greenpeace Poland: +48 506 124 689, anna.ogniewska(at)geenpeace.pl
Katarzyna Guzek, Media Officer, Greenpeace Poland: mob. +48 500 236 211; katarzyna.guzek(at)greenpeace.pl