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Poland Set to Accelerate Energy Transition

The biggest state utilities in Poland are preparing for a surge in clean energy investments in 2025, hoping that the government would move ahead with a plan to spin off coal assets that have been restricting the companies’ access to financial markets, executives told Bloomberg this week.

“My dream is to agree on the whole carve-out model this year and carry it out the next year,” Grzegorz Lot, CEO at one of these utilities, Tauron Polska Energia SA, told Bloomberg in an interview.

The government has been planning to lift the burden of coal-heavy assets from the utilities, which have been struggling to get new financing as banks limit exposure to companies working with coal and coal assets.

So far, the Polish government has issued mixed signals about the idea of the spin-off of the coal assets, which has resulted in wild swings in the share prices of the utilities in the country. 

Meanwhile, Poland’s government has signaled it would be looking to set an end date for using coal for power generation, a senior government official said.

“Only with an end date can we plan and only with an end date can industry plan, can people plan. So yes, absolutely, we will be looking to set an end date,” Urszula Zielinska, the Secretary of State at the Ministry of Climate and Environment, said in Brussels earlier this year.

Last year, renewables led by onshore wind generated a record share of Poland’s electricity—26%, but coal continued to dominate the power generating mix, per the German research organization Fraunhofer Society.

Poland’s power grid operator said in March that it would spend $16 billion on upgrading and expanding its power grid to accommodate additional renewable and nuclear capacity.

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The reliance on coal has dragged down the Polish economy so far this year, as a 26% plunge in coal mining weighed on industrial output in March 2024, casting a shadow over the expectations that the biggest emerging market economy in Europe would grow by the expected 3% this year.  

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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