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The Turów mine. Climate Minister Michał Kurtyka on the dispute with the Czech Republic and Poland’s energy transformation

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The dispute between Poland and the Czech Republic over the Turów mine was one of the topics that Climate Minister Michał Kurtyka referred to in the Saturday program “Talks about the end of the world” on TVN24, the first of the series. – There is no magic button that would allow to create another alternative energy source next to the Turów mine that would be able to meet Polish energy needs and secure jobs – he argued.

On Thursday, after two days of talks in Prague, Polish negotiators announced that Polish and Czech delegations failed to agree on the content of the agreement on the Turów mine. The idea was to work out an agreement between the Czech Republic and Poland, which would later be accepted by both governments. Earlier, the Czech side informed that the development of such an agreement would enable the withdrawal from the CJEU of the complaint against Poland regarding the operation of the Turów lignite mine.

Due to the conflict, the Court of Justice of the European Union imposed a fine on Poland in the amount of EUR 500,000 a day, i.e. the equivalent of over PLN 2 million.

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Kurtyka: we are unable to manage energy processes during the day or night

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The Minister of Climate and Environment, Michał Kurtyka, spoke about the dispute between Warsaw and Prague and the prospect of Poland’s energy transformation on Saturday in the TVN24 program “Talks about the end of the world”.

– We are not able to manage energy or social processes during the day or night. There is no magic button that would allow to create another alternative energy source next to the Turów mine that would be able to meet Polish energy needs and secure jobs – explained Kurtyka.

Kurtyka: We are unable to manage energy or social processes during the day or night.TVN24

As he emphasized, “the key challenge for us is the pace at which we are able to build new production capacities”. – Unfortunately, it is a very long-term process. The current system was built for a hundred years. Now we are giving ourselves 20 years to build a new, zero-emission energy system that will be able to replace this old system. But from the investment point of view, it is a gigantic challenge – admitted Kurtyka.

In his opinion, “the problem of the Polish energy system is not – contrary to appearances – abandoning coal”. – The biggest challenge at the moment is building new investments. There is no technical possibility for us to get this energy from somewhere else. That is why it was so crucial for me to adopt Poland’s energy policy, which assumes that in the perspective of 2040, we will reduce practically 70 percent of today’s coal in the share of the Polish mix to as much as 11 percent – said the minister. As he argued, “this is a revolution no one dreamed of in the Polish energy system”. – We have to spread this transformation over time. Give regional and technical systems a chance to adapt – pointed out the Minister of Climate.

Nuclear energy instead of coal?

Kurtyka pointed out that the way for Poland to become independent from fossil sources is, among others, “building a very large amount of nuclear power”. – There is a discussion in the European Union as to whether nuclear energy can be financed at all under the Green Deal in the European energy system. We say that if we are not able, we will not have a way to replace the existing powers, said the minister.

Kurtyka pointed out that more than half of global emissions come from three countries – the USA, China and India. – Poland is part of the European Union and as the European Union we are the place with the most ambitious climate policy in the world – he stressed.

He indicated that Poland supported the EU’s energy goals, despite the fact that it was the only EU member state that “entered this transformation with a monoculture”. He recalled that in 1989 the share of coal in the Polish energy system was 97 percent. – This is our reality, this is our history, we will not change it. It is not a matter of political will, it is a matter of the availability of funds, investment capacity, building new, alternative jobs and closing the energy balance with new technologies, for example energy storage – mentioned the minister.

The guests of the second part of the program were physicist Marcin Popkiewicz and prof. Zbigniew Karaczun, lecturer at the Warsaw University of Life Sciences and an expert of the Climate Coalition.

Physicist Marcin Popkiewicz and prof. Zbigniew Karaczun on the words of Minister Kurtyka TVN24

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