Poland’s power sector is dominated by coal. While its share has been decreasing steadily in the recent years, reaching below 70% in 2020, coal would need to be completely phased out by 2029 to be consistent with 1.5°C pathways. This would require an increase in the share of renewables to at least 80% by 2030, from just under 18% in 2020.
The decreasing share of coal has been replaced by renewables and to a lesser degree natural gas, which has come with increased investments in gas infrastructure. A 1.5°C compatible pathway would see phase out natural gas by 2036 – a continued expansion of gas could therefore increase the risk of stranded assets.
The government’s goals for 2030 and 2040 indicate a slowdown in deployment of renewables in comparison to recent years. Instead, it plans to deploy nuclear energy. Even if the plans to build up to six nuclear reactors, materialise, this approach will result in much higher costs and significantly higher emissions before the nuclear power plants would start generating electricity, with the first reactor not coming online until 2033.1
Key power sector benchmarks
Renewables shares and year of zero emissions power Including the use of BECCS
- 2030 32 % Renewable share
- 2030 81 to 90% Renewable share
- 2035 36 % Renewable share
- 2035-2043 Zero emissions power
- 2040 11 to 28% Coal consumption share
- 2040 40 % Renewable share
- 2040 99 % Renewable share