On Tuesday, September 13, the Silesian Museum in Katowice will host a conference on nuclear energy and energy transformation of coal regions.
The event is addressed both to representatives of local governments, as well as anyone interested in energy transformation, including specialists in the field of energy. The event will be held in person and online.
Participation in the conference is free, however, prior registration is required. The conference will be held in Polish with simultaneous translation into English, and streaming in Polish and English.read on
Climate change forces us to change the way we generate electricity and heat. This transformation should be just and must not come at the expense of local communities that flourished in coal regions. According to the Polish Academy of Sciences, apart from a significant expansion of renewable energy sources, we will also need nuclear power to be able to supply entire metropolises in a cheap and weather-independent manner.
On September 13, we will talk about specific opportunities available to local governments and local businesses in this area, how to talk to local communities about nuclear power, and what lessons can be learned from countries where such a transformation has already begun.
Deputy Mayor of the City of Konin
Silesian University of Technology
Member of the European Parliament continuously since 2004
Warsaw School of Economics
Specialist in the field of management, strategic communication, and energy security
Managing Director, Radiant Energy Group Think Tank
of the Projects and Investments Department,
Górnośląsko - Zagłębiowska Metropolia
Director of the Nuclear Energy Department, Ministry of Climate and Environment
Expert on nuclear energy projects
Chief Specialist, Chief Specialist, Ministry of Climate and Environment
CEO of The Energy Studies Institute
Deputy Director Communication and Stakeholder’s Management Division, Polskie Elektrownie Jądrowe Sp. z o.o.
Moderators: Adam Błażowski, Justyna Piszczatowska
120 people participating in person, and over 300 following the online broadcast. The conference organized by the Upper Silesia and Zagłębie Metropolis created a platform for discussion that gathered experts, activists, and local government officials.
The event took place on Tuesday, September 13 in the attractive spaces of the Silesian Museum in Katowice. The online transmission was followed by participants from Poland, Germany, France, the USA, China, Finland, the Netherlands, Austria, Spain, and Sweden.
The originator and organizer of the event was the Upper Silesia and Zagłębie Metropolis, while the substantive part was taken care of by Adam Błażowski, an engineer and journalist who has been dealing with the topic of energy efficiency, and consulting on Smart City, CleanTech, distributed renewable energy and nuclear power for 15 years.
Is nuclear energy an opportunity for the energy transformation of coal regions? Or is it a necessity to achieve low-carbon goals? Why should local governments be interested in the development of nuclear energy? These are just a few of the questions that the organizers asked the participants.
- Energy security is also the responsibility of local governments. The current fuel crisis shows how important energy independence is. Modular nuclear units can be an alternative to conventional energy sources. Perhaps they could supply electricity to the cities of the Metropolis. We keep our fingers crossed for the development of this technology - said Kazimierz Karolczak, Chairman of the Board of the Upper Silesia and Zagłębie Metropolis.
The opening speech was delivered by prof. Jerzy Buzek, Member of the European Parliament. - Nuclear is not the only solution, but there is no solution without nuclear. EU plans for an urgent shift away from fossil fuels from Russia have led many EU countries to revise their approach to nuclear energy. Recent polls show a significant increase in support for nuclear energy, even in Germany. The energy self-sufficiency of local governments in Poland may also be based on investments in nuclear power plants, although this requires support at the national level and it is not an easy choice - noted prof. Buzek.
The position of the Polish Academy of Sciences on renewable energy and nuclear power was presented to conference participants by prof. Symons Malinowski, Director of the Institute of Geophysics at the University of Warsaw. - Of all non-emission sources, nuclear energy is the best in terms of availability, that is, the ability to produce energy at the time when we want to use it. It also produces heat that could be used in district heating networks. It is environmentally friendly because it only emits greenhouse gases during the construction phase, the professor noted. - Nuclear energy can make us independent from fossil fuel extractors. There would be no war in Ukraine if we did not buy huge amounts of energy resources from Russia. Nuclear energy, along with wind and solar energy, is our future. We must remember about a just transition. Nuclear power must be managed by people, and local governments, not by large companies, said Malinowski.
Dr. Buena Horbaczewska from the Warsaw School of Economics and Łukasz Sawicki, chief specialist at the Department of Nuclear Energy of the Ministry of Climate and Environment, presented the SaHo model in which the state builds a nuclear power plant and then sells it to end users. They have the right and obligation to take energy at the cost of production. Energy is consumed in proportion to ownership share. Sale of electricity without margin means low costs for consumers - without producer profit, capacity fee, and outside the energy market. The concept uses mechanisms such as the Polish industrial power generation (where plants generate electricity for their own needs), or cooperative models which exist in Finland and the USA.
Mark Nelson, co-author of the "Repowering Coal" report, was the special guest at the conference. - US nuclear power plants require an average of 0.7 employees per megawatt of power, while coal-fired power plants employ an average of 0.15 employees per megawatt. Moreover, nuclear power plants built today will operate for at least 80 years, which means that local communities can enjoy the benefits of investing in nuclear energy for almost a hundred years, the report says.
- Research carried out by the Ministry of Climate and Environment shows that support for the construction of nuclear power plants in Poland is the highest in 10 years. 74% of respondents support this solution - noted Joanna Szostek, Deputy Director of the Communication and Stakeholder Relations Division of Polskie Elektrownie Jądrowe.
- This support is largely related to the current geopolitical situation in the world. Price increases, and shortage of energy resources (which are the basis of energy security) do not provide much scope for optimism in the future - noted Blanka Romanowska, Director of the Department of Infrastructure and Environment of the Upper Silesia and Zagłębie Metropolis
Department of Infrastructure and Environment
Górnośląsko-Zagłębiowska Metropolia Office
ph. +48 32 718 07 40
Górnośląsko-Zagłębiowska Metropolia 2023