Poland will table a new financing plan for the country’s first nuclear power plant in the first half of 2017, Warsaw's energy minister said on January 30.
The nuclear plant project – planned to help improve energy security and perhaps reduce the country’s dependence on coal – have come into focus recently as Poland has admitted earlier ideas for financing have been scrapped. Energy Minister Krzysztof Tchorzewski said last week that the programme has been suspended, and that it could potentially be scrapped this year.
However, he told a conference on nuclear power on January 30 that he now hopes “a program for financing nuclear power will be presented [in the first half of 2017].” Poland had planned to use the 'contracts for difference' model to ensure financing, but now says that scheme is dead in the water and that it will work on a new mechanism.
The future of the project already looked precarious ahead of the elevation of Law and Justice (PiS) to office in November 2015. The new government was quick to state as it began its term that coal will remain the economy’s staple fuel, despite calls from the EU to lower emissions.
PiS is engineering the restructuring of the coal-mining sector, tying the largest coal company PGG to state-controlled utilities. PGG has turned in a profit for third straight month in December. Other coal companies await restructuring.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) said on January 25 that Poland needs to work towards creating a cleaner energy system that would meet environmental protection standards and also help guarantee energy security. A nuclear power plant would be instrumental in attaining that goal, the IEA said.
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