In Poland energy is available and affordable for almost everyone, but it’s far from sustainable and comes with heavy dependency on Russian suppliers. A few facts about Poland and energy stand out:
- OVERLY OPTIMISTIC: Recent discovery of enormous shale gas supplies awed many investors; however, even more recently, estimates of shale gas potential needed correction: Poland does not sit on top of 5,3 trillion cubic meter shale gas, but only on a mere 800 billion cubic meter.
- UNPOPULAR MAIN SUPPLIER: 70% of Polish natural gas is supplied by Russia – this is interesting, since according to a 2013 BBC World Service poll, 19% of Poles view Russia’s influence positively, with 49% expressing a negative view
- NUCLEAR LOVE: No less than 57% of the Polish population is in favor of nuclear energy: of all countries worldwide this figure is only higher in India! Good to know: Poland doesn’t suffer from earthquakes or tsunamis (at least; that was until shale gas exploration started).
- NATIONAL CLIMATE AWARENESS: 80% of Poles believe that climate change is a serious problem, and 63% want their energy produced from renewable sources.
- COAL IS KING: More than 80% of the electricity generated in the country comes from coal – Poland is the EU’s largest lignite producer.
Top three challenges
- DECREASE DEPENDENCY ON RUSSIA, through nuclear energy and shale gas – shale gas trials have proven controversial so far, production is much more difficult than expected and has caused small earthquakes damaging buildings. Recently, Poland announced to build LNG import terminals. Poland’s president Donald Tusk is advocating a European Energy-Union to form a power block against Russia.
- ENERGY SUSTAINABILITY – Poland has large domestic coal reserves; this gets in the way of a renewable energy mix. Poland is struggling to combine climate ambitions and electricity production from coal. It is not surprising therefore, that Poland was the host of a large scale summit on coal and climate in November 2013.
- ENERGY EFFICIENCY – Poland wants to reposition itself as an energy efficiency champion, but has already quite a track record. Mainly due to economic shrinkage in the post-soviet period.
- More info on Poland-Russia relations – especially look at the section on the Russian Textbook on Geopolitics, that’s quite amazing!
- Dutch documentary on Polish shale gas exploitation.
- LNG import terminal – currently being build
- Shale gas update – the French company ‘Total’ has recently not renewed its Shale gas licence in Poland (march 2014).
- An explanation of Poland’s position on mitigating climate change – why is Poland the ‘enfant terrible’?