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Poles believe in green energy

PR dla Zagranicy
Roberto Galea 10.02.2015 17:20
As many as 77 percent of Poles think that the country should increase its renewable energy sources, a new survey says.
Photo: cc/Flickr/Jeff KubinaPhoto: cc/Flickr/Jeff Kubina

A new poll by The Public Opinion Research Center (CBOS) reveals that green energy sources are supported mainly by females, young Poles, as well as wealthier individuals.

These figures are well within the average seen by past surveys on the subject, Grzegorz Wiśniewski, President of the Management Board of The Institute for Renewable Energy (EC BREC IEO), told thenews.pl.

Wiśniewski added that a 2007 survey following the European plan on climate change saw support for renewables in Poland exceeding 85 percent.

However, a “strong campaign” by the then-government to promote solid fuels and nuclear energy saw support for renewable energy fall a dismal 65 percent.

“[EC BREC IEO] conducted a similar survey in 2013, where support for coal had dropped to 24 percent, while just one percent of Poles supported nuclear energy,” Wiśniewski said, adding that surprisingly, many of the “over 70 percent” who supported green energy were people living in rural areas, and farmers.

Wiśniewski explained that since there is an around-20-percent loss when transferring energy over long distances, small-and-medium enterprises (SMEs) which are not in large metropolitan areas pay higher energy bills. Hence, there was a bigger support for renewable energies, which could be produced on site.

Asked why Poland lags behind its European counterparts in the level of green energy, Wiśniewski explained that while “Poland has excellent opportunities to produce several kinds of renewable energy, including wind, biomass and solar,” traditional sources of energy are still state-owned, including coal mines and the “big-four utilities”, which means that it is not in the government’s interest to invest in green energy.

However, things could change, Wiśniewski said. “Big utilities are losing the support of ordinary Poles, and this could be mean a win for Polish renewables.” (rg/jb)

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