Poland could add nuclear power to energy mix to secure coal usage - Energy Minister
March 16, 2017
Energy Minister Krzysztof Tchorzewski
The Polish government believes that adding nuclear power to its energy mix would improve its bargaining position in talks with the European Commission and allow for a longer usage of coal-fired generation, Energy Minister Krzysztof Tchorzewski told reporters.
"It would give us basis for negotiations with the European Commission about keeping coal for longer," Tchorzewski said of including nuclear energy in the mix.
"If a three block nuclear plant were built in Poland by 2050, including one block by 2030, looking at the level of emissions we would be the leader," he said. "Taking into account the development of renewables, from the point of view of emissions, we would be below the currently assumed EU norms."
The European Commission's proposals of new energy market regulations, the so-called winter package, limit the acceptable CO2 emission by new power units to 550 g/kWh, which would practically preclude support for coal-fired plants.
In the negotiations the Polish government proposes that the 550 g/kWh applied to the national average and not particular installations, the minister said.
Tchorzewski prefers nuclear energy over offshore wind farms, he said.
"I believe that nuclear plants are more sure," he said, pointing to the fact that they offer higher security of power supply.
On Wednesday the daily Rzeczpospolita wrote that the European Commission is worried by Poland's lack of long-term energy policy and reportedly decided to make its own proposal of energy mix for Poland, citing persons familiar with the matter.
The European Commission proposes Poland should include nuclear power in the mix, targeting 3.3 GW by 2035 and eventually 8.2 GW in 2050.
Wind farms should reach 18.8 GW, while the share of coal should gradually decline as lignite gets eliminated, according to the commission.