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Jacek Sasin, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State Assets, on coal in the energy sector

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Coal will be the basis of the Polish energy sector until the investments in renewable energy sources are implemented, stressed Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State Assets Jacek Sasin. He added that still 70 percent of energy in Poland is produced from coal.

Sasin participated in the Silesian Voivodship Office in Katowice in the meeting of the Parliamentary Team for the Silesian Voivodship and the Parliamentary Team for Energy and Energy and Mining Transformation in Poland, which was devoted to, among others, draft EU methane regulation.

Sasin on coal in the Polish energy sector

At a later briefing, the deputy prime minister referred to the work carried out in the European Parliament on – as he pointed out – “a regulation, which in its original content was a deadly threat to the further functioning of hard coal mining in Poland”.

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– A deadly threat to Silesia, because hard coal mining is still an important branch of industry here in the Silesian Voivodeship (…) and a deadly threat to Poland, because it will continue to be so for many years, coal will be the basis of our energy – said Sasin.

In his opinion, “the elimination of coal mining in Poland would be a powerful blow to our Polish energy security.”

The Deputy Prime Minister reminded that in Poland, despite large investments in renewable energy sources and despite the implementation of investments in the field of nuclear energy, “still 70 percent of energy is produced from coal.”

“And it will stay that way for a long time, whether you like it or not.” These are the realities. We live in such realities. Investments require not only a lot of money, but also time. Until these investments are completed, coal will be the basis of the Polish energy sector, he pointed out.

The Deputy Prime Minister reminded that the amended Energy Policy of Poland until 2040 indicates that until new energy sources are launched, energy will also be produced in Poland from coal.

– Therefore, hard coal mines must also operate. Because it would be absolutely irrational for us to close the mines in Poland, and at the same time have to import this coal from abroad to the Polish energy sector. It would be an irrational policy and we reject such a policy – emphasized the head of MAP.

– We also presented this view to our partners in the European Union during the work on the methane regulation, that regardless of the solutions that will be adopted, they will not have such an effect that we will close Polish mines faster than it results from our capabilities, our needs and faster than it was stipulated in the social contract (which assumes the gradual phasing out of coal mining in Poland until 2049 – ed.) – stressed Sasin.

The draft methane regulation of the European Commission assumed i.a. significant reduction of methane emissions from mines. For them, this means the need for large investments in technologies for capturing it. The European Commission’s proposal was to ban the release of methane into the atmosphere from ventilation shafts in coal mines emitting more than 0.5 tons of methane per 1,000 inhabitants. tons of mined coal.

Last week, a negotiating meeting of representatives of individual political groups in the EP was held in order to work out a compromise shape of the methane regulation, before the formal voting on this legal act in the ITRE and ENVI committees.

In these negotiations, it was possible to increase the limit to 5 tonnes of methane per 1,000 inhabitants. tons of extracted coal and determine that this threshold should be applied to the operator if one entity runs several mines. Penalties for breaching the regulations were also replaced with fees transferred to the budget of the Member State, then transferred to mines for investments in methane emission reduction technologies.

When asked on Monday what, in his opinion, are the chances of adopting the regulation in a negotiated form in the June vote, the head of the MAP replied that it seems that the provisions on the table are the result of a certain compromise and consensus between the political forces in the EP.

– I hope that these provisions (…), if they are actually maintained, will be such provisions that mitigate the effects and in some way cause that we will try to deal with them in Poland. So I hope these records will hold up,” Sasin declared.

Main photo source: PAP/Artur Reszko

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