A group of miners pose for a photograph inside of an excavation corridor at Zofiowka coal mine in Jastrzebie Zdroj, southern Poland April 3, 2013. REUTERS/Peter Andrews

 

 

OSLO | Fri Oct 25, 2013 6:09am EDT

(Reuters) – Poland could halve its demand for coal by 2030 with a shift to renewable energies that would end its image as a laggard in European Union efforts to slow climate change, a study showed on Friday.

The report, by researchers in Germany and Poland, renewable energy groups and environmental group Greenpeace, included a foreword by ex-Polish Environment Minister Maciej Nowicki who called it a “feasible, realistic scenario”.

It estimated that Poland, which now generates 90 percent of its electricity from coal, could create 100,000 jobs with a shift to wind, hydro, biomass, geothermal and solar power by 2030.

The scenario would require investment of $264 billion, double the $132 billion cost of business as usual. Still, free renewable energies would be cheaper in the long run by eliminating costs of fuel to generate electricity, it said.

Poland “has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to move beyond coal,” it said. “Poland is home to a geriatric energy system, based on coal. Its power plants are old with about 70 percent of them being over 30 years old.”

 

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