WARSAW, May 22 (Reuters) – Poland will remain dependent on coal for the next 15 years due to a lack of alternative energy sources and as trade unions retain their grip on the industry, the head of the country’s biggest private miner, said.
Poland currently generates more than 80 percent of its electricity from burning coal produced by its state-owned mines – a level miner PG Silesia doesn’t see changing any time soon.
“Focusing on coal is the only model in Poland. There is no other way, unless you want to close the economy,” Michal Herman, the head of PG Silesia, said in an interview at the Reuters Central & Eastern Europe Investment Summit.
Despite European Union requirements to cut carbon emissions, Poland has vowed to stick to coal, saying it is its only accessible source of energy and switching to others in a short time would be too costly.
Poland says it needs new coal plants to avoid blackouts and to keep its economy on track, but EU proposals on energy market reform could make it even more difficult to build new plants.
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