Clean heat as an engine for the Polish economy


A new approach to heating is needed in Poland. It is currently a neglected area where the necessary changes and modernisation have been postponed for years. As a result, every winter we have the most polluted air in the European Union and the Polish district heating system is on the verge of collapse. The costs and scale of the investments needed are enormous, but further delays will lead to an even higher prices.

The challenges are tremendous, but we should not fear change. First, public (EU funds, revenues from the ETS system and other national sources) and private money have been allocated to the transformation. Secondly, there
is no alternative, as much of the district heating plants and individual heating in buildings has reached the end of life, air quality is terrible, and CO2 emissions remain at very high levels. Thirdly, transforming district and individual
heating can contribute to the modernisation of domestic industry so that as much money as possible stays in the country.

This report focuses on the heating and construction sectors from an economic perspective - these are industries that can drive the national economy if the right policies are implemented. In the following chapters, we analyse
how much we can gain in the 2050 horizon, which technologies are worth betting on now, and what should be the priority for public policy and financing in the upcoming years.We are convinced that clean heat ‒ defined as energy-efficient technologies in buildings, district and individual heating ‒ can become a driver of the economy and a Polish export blockbuster. It will translate into a significant increase in added value and job creation.

The transformation of the heating sector and the modernisation of buildings should be treated as a post-pandemic reconstruction strategy for the Polish economy. Appropriate industrial policy is required to take advantage of this
opportunity. We hope that our report will contribute to this.

Dr Sonia Buchholtz
Piotr Kleinschmidt
Julia Wiśniewska

Dr Joanna Maćkowiak-Pandera
Andrzej Rubczyński

Date of publication
29 November 2022

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