18 Nov 2022, 12:29
Benjamin Wehrmann

Intensified energy cooperation between Poland and Germany aimed at increasing mutual trust

Clean Energy Wire

Poland and Germany have agreed to intensify their cooperation on energy policy through joint projects on energy efficiency, renewables, infrastructure and the energy market design. “The energy transition cannot work without European collaboration,” the two countries’ energy agencies, Germany's dena and Poland's KAPE, said in a joint statement. Europe’s energy transition “is a mammoth task” that requires a profound “rethinking” in many areas, dena’s Kristina Haverkamp said. She said a focus of the agreed cooperation would be a deeper involvement of local populations in energy transition projects. KAPE head Sebastian Bodentza said the essence of the energy transition would be “the implementation of complex tasks,” for which a close cooperation based on mutual trust is a prerequisite. “The partnership of Poland’s and Germany’s energy agency allows to gain a better understanding of each other’s challenges, and to respond in a faster and more targeted fashion,” he added.

In 2021, the two countries had already agreed on launching a joint energy platform. Both governments are also working on a concept for a “cross-border energy region” comprising western Poland and eastern Germany, and are preparing to hold a joint energy transition forum in Warsaw early next year. While Germany and Poland already trade energy at a large scale and cooperate on the energy transition at many levels, from small local initiatives to the broader EU framework, energy policy has often been a source of disputes between the governments in Warsaw and Berlin. Poland has been among the most vocal critics of Germany’s former intensive energy trading partnership with Russia, and was one of the staunchest opponents of the contentious Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, a project launched after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine’s Crimea Peninsula in 2014. On the other hand, Germany’s government has taken issue with Poland’s ambitions to ramp up coal mining in the border region and its reluctance to commit to coal power phase-out goals.

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