Annual Review of Energy and the Environment | VOL. 16

Energy in Poland: Present State and Future Outlook

Publication Date Nov 1, 1991


BACKGROUND The history of Poland in this century has been very dramatic both politically and economically beginning with the regaining of independence in 1918 after 140 years of partition. World War II also had a dramatic impact on Poland, both in large popula­ tion losses and heavy damages. The National Product dropped and did not recover to its 1938 level until the late 1950s. The energy sector was also damaged badly. However, the energy sector was actually a help in rebuilding the country, because of the abundance of Polish coal, the only domestic energy source. Poland rebuilt and strengthened its energy sector following the War, start­ ing from having per capita energy consumption less than one-third of today's and no country-wide electricity system, and developing the sector into a source of strength that supplied the country both with power and with foreign currency from exported coal. However, over time, the bituminous coal and lignite that account for more than 80% of the total primary energy supply have also caused some probl ems , particularly to the environment . It is important to understand that in the centrally planned socialist econo­ mies of Central Eastern Europe energy supply was built into the social system with the same priority as food supply. Energy has become a political rather than economic category, and low energy prices a common practice. Energy consumption is thus relatively high compared with Gross Domestic Product


Energy Sector Energy In Poland Domestic Energy Source Capita Energy Consumption Economic Category Heavy Damages Future Outlook Bituminous Coal Total Energy Supply Food Supply

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