Poland sees energy transformation costing $120 billion by 2045

WARSAW, March 3 (Reuters) - Switching energy supplies from fossil fuels to cleaner sources of power will cost Poland an estimated 450 billion zlotys ($120 billion) by 2045, the minister responsible for energy infrastructure said on Wednesday.

Poland still generates most of its electricity from coal, but plans to reduce its share in power production amid rising carbon emission costs.

“Transformation will cost us a lot. It is difficult to assess it exactly at the moment. We have calculated that by 2045 the transformation in the electricity system will cost around 450 billion zlotys,” Piotr Naimski told private radio RMF.

He added that Poland would be closing its coal-burning power plants over the next 30 years, replacing them with gas-fuelled ones, offshore wind farms and nuclear power plants.

Naimski said the first nuclear plant would be built in the north of Poland - in Lubiatowo or Zarnowiec, and the second in Belchatow, central Poland, which is currently the site of Europe’s biggest lignite coal power plant. A third will potentially be built in Patnow.

Poland plans to have its first nuclear reactor operating in 2033.

“We want to start construction in 2026,” Naimski said.

$1 = 3.7495 zlotys Reporting by Agnieszka Barteczko. Editing by Mark Potter