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Going green: Poland’s battle with ‘tradition’

Poland, like the rest of the EU, is facing mounting pressure to go green with its energy production. But, in a country where mining and burning coal is deep rooted, it’s a challenge.

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Going green: Poland’s battle with ‘tradition’

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Tomasz Szczerba is the Mayor of Wojkowice, a town that’s home to an EU-funded solar farm, which helps to power a waste water treatment works. He wants to see more solar facilities across Poland, but says it means fighting ‘tradition.’

“The coal industry is some kind of tradition. This is our history. For example, my father and grandfather were working in the coal industry, a big plant and you know, this is not easy to solve this problem, like this (clicks fingers). We must think about the future and do everything to change this kind of industry.”

But do you think the interest is there? Does Poland want to change?

“Right now, I don’t think so. This a very good question, because right now we do everything to save the coal industry. For example, we have a big problem because we produce a lot of energy during the vacation, during June, July and August. These are the best days to take energy from the sun and we don’t think this is good for us, because we don’t know how to use this energy. We overproduce energy in the best days and nobody will pay for it, because we have a difficult law structure involved in energy.”