Online Panel Discussion

Date: December 15, Time 12.00 to 13.15 CET

A panel discussion on decarbonisation and how it will be affected by potential lack of adequate funding in Member States with a/ a lower GDP per capita than their neighbours and b/ who are ‘coming from behind’ in terms of their energy mix – especially in terms of a prevalence of coal-fired power which will impact heavily on regions where coal mining and power generation are major drivers for the local economy and social well-being. And what role can solar play in a Just Transition?


Why solar? According to some recent scenarios solar is set to constitute 60% of electricity generation in the EU by 2050. This is due to a number of factors including the great cost reductions which are being achieved. It also has advantages when it comes to planning permission (for solar farms), integration into local communities – to absorb the additional workforce capacity created as coal is gradually phased out – and the prosumer phenomenon.

However, countries whose starting point is a dependence on coal as a means to generate electricity, cannot look at the required investments in a vacuum. For every cent spent in the direction of solar, there’s money to be spent on the social and economic upheaval caused by uprooting an industry which has underpinned Polish society for well over a century.

Join us to discuss the complexities of this issue and to develop our understanding of what the Transition looks like in Poland and similar countries in the region. Solar is one of the cornerstones of the clean power revolution. Poland has nearly 40 million citizens with the 10th largest energy economy in the bloc. 123,000 citizens are directly employed in the coal sector.


This event is now over



Henning Häder,
Policy Director, EURELECTRIC

Henning Häder is the Policy Director Issues at Eurelectric, the sector association representing the European electricity industry. Previously he has been Head of Unit in charge of Energy Policy, Climate and Sustainability and Eurelectric Advisor in charge of energy efficiency, electrification and climate issues. Before joining the association in 2011 he worked on European and security policy topics at the German Institute for International & Security Affairs and the United States Department of State at the US Embassy in Berlin. He holds a bachelor in European studies from Maastricht University and a master in international security studies from Kings College London

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Tom Burke
Chairman, E3G

Tom Burke is the Chairman of E3G, Third Generation Environmentalism, and a Visiting Professor at both Imperial and University Colleges, London. He is a Senior Associate at the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership. He is Chairman of the China Dialogue Trust and a Trustee of Black-E Community Arts Project, Liverpool

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Pawel Olechnowicz
Programme Manager, DG REGIO

Coordinator for ESIF energy and JTF investments in the Polish unit of DG REGIO, programme manager for the Regional Operational Program of Lower Silesia and the Operational Programme for Technical Assistance; State aid coordinator in the Polish unit

Michał Orłowski, 
Director of Mergers, Acquisitions and Divestments,

Executive Director responsible for Mergers Acquisitons & Divestments in TAURON Polska Energia, serving as Chairman in 3 companies within the Group. While working at TAURON, Michał has contributed to TAURON’s green transition by leading divestment projects in coal assets, renawables acquisitions and contributing to TAURON’s green strategy creation


Matthew James (Moderator)
Managing Director, ENERGY POST

Working in energy communications for the past 11 years, first as Managing Director of Synergy, organisers of European Utility Week, then, since 2014, at Energy Post. Energy Post is read by over 50,000 energy professionals every month. It is technology neutral, offering a platform for experts from all areas of the energy sector to share their knowledge. The Transition is at the heart of our reports.

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