Energy transformation will create 300,000 jobs in Poland - minister

Kurtyka said Polish coal mining regions will receive a total of PLN 60 bln (EUR 13.5 bln) to transform their industry into more environmentally-friendly sectors. Sebastian Borowski/PAP

The energy transformation that Poland faces will generate about 300,000 well-paid jobs over the next 20 years, Climate Minister Michał Kurtyka said at a Tuesday debate at the Economic Forum in Karpacz, south-western Poland.

Kurtyka said Polish coal mining regions will receive a total of PLN 60 bln (EUR 13.5 bln) to transform their industry into more environmentally-friendly sectors. "Concrete strategies for a just transformation in the regions should be ready by the end of this year, whereas the beginning of the next year should see viable projects," the minister said.

The changes in the Polish energy sector should be "a just transformation," whereby jobs in traditional power generation, mainly based on coal, should be replaced with workplaces in other industries, Kurtyka said. The minister recalled that a vast proportion of the EU's Recovery Fund that aims to prop up the bloc's economy from the fallout of the coronavirus crisis, will be channeled to energy, transport and industry projects.

According to him, the main challenge for Poland in the next 20 years will be building a zero-emission energy system that could be comparable in size with the current coal-based system. To this end, the country plans to launch six nuclear units generating some 7-9 GW of power in aggregate and the development of offshore wind energy projects, with a total capacity of 11 GW.

Kurtyka said that by 2030, one-third of Poland's power should be green energy.