Nuclear Politics

Poland / Energy Transition Not Possible Without Nuclear, Says Climate Minister

By Kamen Kraev,
20 April 2021

Energy Transition Not Possible Without Nuclear, Says Climate Minister
It is not possible to be realistic about any energy transition without the use of nuclear power as a zero-emission source, Poland’s climate minister Michal Kurtyka said in a recent interview for local media.

Mr Kurtyka told Polish energy portal Biznes Alert that the proposed deployment of nuclear power in Poland is a “correct reading of future trends” because more and more businesses and industries are looking for energy from zero-emission sources.

Asked about EU-level discussions on the role of nuclear in the bloc’s sustainable finance taxonomy, Mr Kurtyka said that “there would be no such discussion if only facts were considered”.

“Nuclear energy is a zero-emission source and its environmental impact is minimal compared to conventional energy sources, but it arouses emotions in our western neighbour”, he said.

Last month, the leaders of seven EU countries sent a letter to the European Commission as an “urgent call” to ensure “a true level playing field for nuclear power” in the EU without excluding it from EU climate and energy policies and incentives. Poland was among the signatories of the letter.

Poland wants to build from 6,000 to 9,000 MW of installed nuclear capacity based on large-scale, pressurised water nuclear reactors of Generation III and III+ designs. Commercial operation of a first nuclear reactor unit in a proposed set of six is planned for 2033.

According to Mt Kurtyka, Poland has the scientific and economic potential to develop nuclear energy. “I hope that we will carry out the energy transition in a way that can later be considered a model to be followed by others,” he added.

Poland’s 2040 energy plans foresee the reduction of coal-fired power generation to about 50% from about 80% today, and replacing the phased-out capacity with zero-emission sources like nuclear and renewables.

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