Facing a general election on Sunday, the ruling Law and Justice party (PiS) has maintained support for coal, a key industry in the Silesia region where Morawiecki’s constituency of Katowice is located.
However, with an awareness of air quality issues growing domestically and pressure from the European Union to cut carbon emissions ramping up, it has also pledged investment in photovoltaics, offshore wind and nuclear power to cut emissions.
“This year we will triple our photovoltaic capacities to 1.5 gigawatts,” the prime minister told public radio.
That is equivalent to just over 3% of Poland’s current total installed power capacity of around 45 GW.
Morawiecki said that Silesia, which is still largely dependent on coal despite a recent contraction in the industry, will be one of the regions hardest hit by measures taken to combat climate change.
In June Poland led a handful of eastern EU states in blocking a push by France and others to commit the bloc to net zero emissions by mid-century.
Earlier in October, the Polish energy minister put the cost of reaching a net-zero emissions economy in Poland at 700-900 billion euros.
Morawiecki said undelivered power – a reference to the intermittent nature of some renewable sources, such as solar or wind – often proved to be the most expensive kind to produce.
PiS froze 2019 electricity prices for households and promised help for Poland’s biggest power consumers, but its wholesale power prices remain higher than in neighboring countries due to rising carbon emission costs and coal prices.