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Climate Policy 25 July, 2017 9:00 am   
Editorial staff

Buzek: Gradual departure from coal may be good for Poland (interview) 

“Poland took a constructive approach to the energy mix and decreasing coal participation in electricity production. It is certain that transforming the energy industry and gradually departing from coal may simply be beneficial for us,” argues professor Jerzy Buzek, Chair of the European Parliament’s Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE), in an interview for Biznesalert.pl.

BiznesAlert.pl: When it comes to the Clean Energy for All Europeans package, Member States fully support either the energy market integration, or extreme isolationism. Is it possible to find a golden mean? 

Jerzy Buzek: The EU states often argue in this way. This happens in case of every important regulation. The revision of the regulation on gas supply security may be an example here. In this case the long negotiations and numerou disputes allowed them to reach a consensus. We have regional cooperation on gas deliveries, full security for sensitive consumers – hospitals, our houses and apartments, as well as transparency for bigger contracts for gas from outside of the Union. Various states voice their concerns about the Clean Energy for All Europeans package. This pertains not only to the controversial regulation on limiting the capacity market support for units that emit over 550 g/kWh of CO2, but also other stipulations. It’s not only Poles that are against some of the regulations, but also the Germans, Finns and Austrians. I believe that negotiations will lead to a settlement that will benefit Poland and the entire Union.

Poland declared that by 2030 it intended to decrease coal participation in the energy mix from 80 to 65%. What kind of a signal is that?

It’s a good signal. It is true that all Member States have the inalienable right to shape their energy mix in line with EU treaties – and there are no concessions here. Still, some changes do need to happen and it’s good that Poland is presenting a constructive approach. It is certain that transforming the energy industry and gradually departing from coal may simply be beneficial for us. Smog is a threat not only to large agglomerations like Kraków or Silesia, but also to smaller ones. It has to be taken into consideration.

Interview by Wojciech Jakóbik