Poland and Germany should cooperate in the energy sector. This is an opportunity for Silesia and Lusatia. It is necessary to take disagreements between the two countries, concerning the judiciary and Nord Stream 2 – writes Wojciech Jakóbik, editor-in-chief of BiznesAlert.pl.
Poland and Germany in a battery alliance
In 2019, the Polish-German summit on electromobility and industry 4.0 will be held – said on September 5 Polish Minister of Entrepreneurship and Technology Jadwiga Emliewicz and the German Minister of Energy Peter Altmeier.
– We are happy with the growing trade between Poland and Germany. Germany is the first Polish trading partner on the common European market. It is the most-often and the most-chosen export market for Polish companies. We are glad that one of the largest foreign investments in Poland in the last two years was investments of German companies. This only confirms that the climate for foreign investors in Poland, the legal environment, favors arriving and Poland to invest in Poland – said Emilewicz.
Transformation of Silesia and Lusatia
Poland would like to cooperate more intensively with Germany as part of the European Battery Alliance initiative, from which a company that produces energy storage can grow: Airbus batteries and accumulators from the aviation industry. This is an important prospect for Lusatia and Silesia, where a depot of energy storage could be created and supported by EU funds for the development of post-mining areas. It is an initiative that can theoretically unite the ministry of Jadwiga Emilewicz with the ministry of energy which is in conflict with her. Deputy Minister Grzegorz Tobiszowski is preparing a plan to reindustrialize Silesia and use post-mining areas to create innovative jobs. Why not with Germany? Poland has significant potential in this area. Polish buses from Solaris and Autosan are already traveling around Germany. In the battery sector, we can be an important partner for Germany.
Altmeier announced that Lusatian jobs in the lignite mining sector could be replaced by batteries. This kind of plan is one of the tasks of the coal commission, which can not agree on the date of abandonment of coal and the plan of structural changes in coal regions like Lusatia. Not only central government counts on cooperation with Poland in this respect. The Prime Minister of Saxony appealed for a new high-speed rail line from Berlin to Cottbus and Wrocław via Lusatia. The region and Silesia can develop economically in cooperation. The challenge will be the anti-coal rhetoric of Germany towards Poland, disregarding the problems of energy transformation, also present on German territory, about which we wrote about in BiznesAlert.pl.
To rise above the judiciary and Nord Stream 2
Everything depends on the reliability of our cooperation. In 2019, there is a repeat of the 2017 Hannover Messe, during which Angela Merkel met Beata Szydło to talk about cooperation in the innovation sector. Since then, bilateral relations have changed little, except for the intensification of the tension caused by the dispute over judicial reform in Poland and the project of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, in which German companies take part. One can not remain silent about the problems for the European Union, Ukraine and the common energy policy created by the protective umbrella of Germany spread over this project. It is possible that the economic cooperation between Poland and Germany can only take place outside the dispute over the judiciary and Nord Stream 2.
COP24 is a chance
In order to avoid a repeat of the event in Hanover, specific solutions are needed to intensify energy and electromobile cooperation between Poland and Germany. A great opportunity to present plans for Lusatia and Silesia will be COP24 climate summit in Katowice. It may be expressed not only by central authorities, but also by representatives of regions who are more and more active participants in the discussion on climate policy. There is little time until December. Poland and Germany must prepare particulars. Business is here. An example of this is the investment of Daimler and Engie in Poland, which will build infrastructure for charging electric cars. Polish companies could join it. Poland and Germany must cooperate, even with gritted teeth.