Poland looks to replace coal with natural gas, nuclear and renewables

20 September 2021

Poland’s Government Plenipotentiary for Strategic Energy Infrastructure, Piotr Naimski, said last week that Poland faces “a very difficult season ahead".

Addressing the 6th Scientific Conference "Energy security - pillars and development perspective", at the Rzeszów University of Technology on 13 September, Naimski noted: "We are moving away from coal and this is a political and administrative decision. So we must also realise at the political and administrative level that the coal we are getting rid of must be replaced with something. It must be replaced with what is available, not what is imaginary." He added that “in the perspective that we can consider when making decisions, it will be gas, it will be nuclear energy, it will be renewable sources." 

Naimski stressed that the balance between these technologies is equally important, and the differentiation between them. “In other words, the differentiation of technologies is just as important as the differentiation of the directions of energy supplies.”

He said that Poland would be able to diversify its natural gas supplies in 2022 with the opening of the Baltic pipeline which would bring gas from Norway.  “By the end of next year, in 12-13 months, we will have a situation in which safe gas supplies to Poland will be ensured. They will be ensured in the long term. Both in terms of direction and quantity.” 

But he added that this would still entail building new gas-fired power plants to replace coal plants. Referring to gas supplies from Russia he said this could be a political tool. "This is an element of security. We want to avoid it, and this means that we should strive to be self-sufficient in the field of energy production." He told a press that he hoped the Baltic Pipe gas pipeline would be fully operational by 1 October 2022, adding: “We will not extend the contract with the Russian Gazprom”.

During a panel discussion on "Nuclear energy as an element of energy transformation", the results of a study carried out by Polskie Sieci Elektroenergetyczne and the National Centre for Nuclear Research were presented. These showed that nuclear energy can ensure energy security at the lowest cost, compared with wind or solar energy.  

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