He expressed this opinion at a panel ‘The energy industry in Europe. Dilemmas and Challenges’ during the X European Economic Congress in Katowice. He warned that the energy consumer in Germany (where over 30% of electricity comes from renewables) pays much more for energy than a Polish citizen.

‘Does this mean that the Germans overpay for electricity produced from renewable sources of energy? It turns out that they don’t – if we take into account that Germany is the largest economy in the EU and that its citizens earn thrice as much as the citizens of Poland on average’ – comments Diana Maciąga from the Stop Elektrowni Ostrołęka C coalition.

According to Eurostat’s analysis, after taking into account the purchasing power, it is our country that ranks among the EU members with the most expensive electricity, despite one of the lowest taxes in energy sector. Faster than in Poland energy prices are rising only in Cyprus, Greece and Belgium. Poland is also at the forefront of European countries in terms of air pollution - the health costs of Poland’s energy sector reach the staggering 16 billion Euro a year.

‘If we put it all together it turns out that the price Germany and other countries pay for unpolluted environment and modern energy is by no means excessive ’ – says Diana Maciąga.

Kowalik claims that only after having developed the large-scale energy based on projects such as the Ostrołęka C power plant ‘it is worth focusing on distributed generation, entering this segment of the Winter Package new regulations which will probably emphasis this direction of energy markets’.

According to the Polish Press Agency, renewables as merely an addition to coal-fired power plants is not a vision shared by the Green Group MEP, member of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy - Claude Turmes. He reminded that since 2050 the Community’s economy will be zero-emission which means that ‘everything that emits CO2 will be excluded unless we find a way to store carbon dioxide.’ Evidence of the need of such a solution are going to be presented during the COP24 climate summit in Katowice later this year. The MEP’s first choice is wind and solar power which are, in his opinion, more competitive than gas, coal and nuclear energy.

Turmes pointed out that it has been proven in the UK that a new nuclear power plant is much more expensive than off-shore wind farms and that renewables are going to be cheaper than anything else. He also wanted to know what is the rationale of building a new coal power plant which must be decommissioned in 20-25 years. According to Turmes coal has no place in energy mix – it will be replaced also by gas power plants which are cheaper than coal-fired power plants and pay-off in 15-20 years.

‘On the contrary, the Ostrołęka C power plant is financially unfeasible and will probably never pay off. It will generate costs for the economy and the environment and stand in the way of the much needed clean energy development. If there is something Poland cannot afford to do it is condemning ourselves to another 30 years of coal addiction while the rest of the EU is moving with the times and invests in innovative technologies – concludes Diana Maciaga.

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