Poland anchors energy strategy in coal, shale gas: PM

September 10, 2013
A view of the coal-fired Belchatow power plant on September 28, 2011 in Belchatow, central Poland.

Central European powerhouse Poland will anchor its energy strategy in coal and shale gas, with only limited investment in renewables, Prime Minister Donald Tusk said Tuesday.

An EU nation of 38 million people, Poland currently relies on its vast to produce about 90 percent of the electricity it consumes.

While experts agree it has nearly 150-years worth of domestic , Warsaw has nevertheless been scrambling to find alternatives to meet EU targets on reducing .

"We want to have renewable energy sources, but hard coal and lignite—and soon shale gas—will remain our principal energy sources. That's where the future of the energy sector lies," Tusk told reporters.

He spoke at the opening of a trade fair in the southern Katowice coal basin.

"...we've decided that , which are an important complement to Poland's energy sector, will be limited as much as EU rules will allow," he said.

The government believes tapping its own shale gas deposits could assure strategic energy independence from Soviet-era master Moscow.

Warsaw had also planned to invest an estimated 9 to 12 billion euros ($11.3-15.5 billion) in its first two by 2024 to feed the needs of its growing energy market.

But Tusk said in June there would likely be a delay, as natural gas, including shale gas, becomes less costly on global markets and made no mention of nuclear power on Tuesday.

Tusk also voiced optimism that new technologies allowing for cleaner coal-fired plants would be key to Poland's strategy.

He said last year Poland would invest 100 billion zloty (23.5 billion euros, $31 billion) in its energy sector by 2020.

Total investment in exploration and development of the shale gas sector by domestic and foreign companies could reach 12.5 billion euros.

Optimistic estimates suggest Poland could have up to 1.92 trillion cubic metres (67.8 trillion cubic feet) of exploitable shale gas deposits, possibly the third largest reserves in Europe after Norway and the Netherlands.

Last month, Lane Energy Poland—controlled by US energy giant ConocoPhilips—began shale gas extraction at a test well in northern Poland.

It was a first for Poland, though the amounts involved are too slight for commercial production.

Explore further: Poland may delay launch of nuclear plants

Related Stories

Poland may delay launch of nuclear plants

June 18, 2013

Poland could delay building its first nuclear power plants as natural gas, including shale gas, becomes less costly, the prime minister of the central European heavyweight said Tuesday.

Poland starts shale gas extraction

August 28, 2013

Shale gas extraction has begun at a test well in northern Poland, a first for the EU member, a minister said in a newspaper interview on Wednesday.

Nuclear power or shale gas? Poland may have to choose

November 5, 2012

Poland has set it sights on building its first nuclear power station and developing shale gas, but experts believe it may soon have to choose one or the other as investing in both could prove too costly.

Recommended for you

Google, EU dig in for long war

July 20, 2017

Google and the EU are gearing up for a battle that could last years, with the Silicon Valley behemoth facing a relentless challenge to its ambition to expand beyond search results.

Strengthening 3-D printed parts for real-world use

July 20, 2017

From aerospace and defense to digital dentistry and medical devices, 3-D printed parts are used in a variety of industries. Currently, 3-D printed parts are very fragile and only used in the prototyping phase of materials ...

Swimming robot probes Fukushima reactor to find melted fuel

July 19, 2017

An underwater robot entered a badly damaged reactor at Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear plant Wednesday, capturing images of the harsh impact of its meltdown, including key structures that were torn and knocked out of place.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.