Hydrogen Set for $960 Million Push in Polish Green Recovery Plan

Poland plans to invest 797 million euros ($960 million) to develop the production and distribution of hydrogen, using the European Union’s economic rescue fund to speed up its shift to clean energy.

The government is finishing work on a plan to tap 58.1 billion euros in EU grants and loans to help recover from the coronavirus pandemic. The bloc’s 750 billion-euro stimulus program is centered around its Green Deal strategy, with more than a third of the funding required to be for climate-related projects.

Transforming the energy sector in Poland, which depends on coal for more than 70% of power production, is among the top challenges identified in the national recovery plan. The overhaul will be “extremely costly” but in the longer term green technologies may become the driving force of the economy, according to the government in Warsaw.

“The green transition will be a chance for the modernization of the economy and the growth of Polish companies,” it said in a draft plan, which is currently being consulted with the public.

Hydrogen Set for $960 Million Push in Polish Green Recovery Plan

Hydrogen is rising up the EU political agenda as an indispensable element of the bid for climate neutrality. The European Commission wants to increase sixfold the capacity of hydrogen produced from renewable sources by 2024.

Poland’s largest oil company PKN Orlen SA, which is already building a hydrogen hub in central Poland, plans to spend 25 billion zloty ($6.6 billion) by 2030 to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions by more than 20%.

The government made green energy the biggest part of its recovery plan, earmarking more than 6 billion euros for boosting low-carbon energy sources and energy efficiency and a similar amount for sustainable transportation. In total, about 38% of the 23.9 billion euros of EU grants available will be spent on climate-linked activities by 2026.

The clean energy component of the Polish recovery plan includes:
  • Heating sector modernization: 388 million euros
  • Housing sector energy efficiency: 3.2 billion euros
  • Improving energy efficiency of schools: 194 million euros
  • Boosting companies’ energy savings and renewables use: 28 million euros
  • Developing hydrogen and other alternative fuels: 797 million euros
  • Power grid expansion for renewables integration: 329 million euros
  • Offshore wind generation: 437 million euros
  • Local renewable energy initiatives: 97 million euros

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