Poland, in accordance with the 2007 European Council directive requiring that European Union Member states reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 through investments made into renewable energy sources, creates its own energy policy. The objectives include increase in the share of renewable energy sources by 15 percent by 2020 and 20 percent by 2030, achieve ten percent share of biofuels in the transportation market by 2020, and protect forests and promote sustainable farmland use. The potential of Poland to grow in the field of renewable energy is evolving and if it continues to follow the path right now, they could reach 48 percent renewable energy use by 2050.
1 ) Meeting the Need for Wastewater Treatment Plant Facility in Warsaw. French company Veolia and WTE, a German water company, won a contract to upgrade as well as extend the Czajka wastewater treatment plant located in Poland’s capital of Warsaw. The plant will provide treatment for 435,000 cubic meters of wastewater daily, which is good for a city that is already meeting and exceeding the current plant’s 200,000 cubic meters of wastewater daily. The upgrade and extension was carried out in smaller phases to allow the plant to continue operation.
2 ) Outside investment into Biomass. Chinese biomass developer, DP Cleantech, made a significant investment end of 2010 by providing them with a new biomass production facility in the town of Jedrzejow. The new facility will be utilized in the manufacturing of energy conversion boilers and pressure parts which will then serve the European biomass and waste-to-energy market. According to Simon Parker, DP Cleantech CEO, “On-time and on-budget project delivery is something that we take very seriously at DP Cleantech, the expansion of our manufacturing in Poland will help facilitate this in Europe, combining the benefits of both localization and our global philosophy.”
3 ) ERBD Promotion of Energy Efficiency in Poland. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (ERBD) is assisting Poland in reaching its renewable energy and energy efficiency goals by providing the country with 50 million Euro loan to Bank BGZ and another loan of 35 million Euro to Bank Millennium for on-lending to local SMEs (small and medium enterprises) undertaking investments in sustainable energy. “The proceeds of the EBRD loans will be used to finance eligible energy efficiency and small-scale renewable energy projects with up to €1 million. Such investments include industrial energy efficiency improvements, energy efficiency and/or renewable energy measures in commercial buildings and small-scale renewable energy production. The project will help local SMEs improve their competitivness and overall efficiency, and will contribute to reducing the Polish economy’s energy intensity,” EBRD says.
4 ) The Polish Economic Chamber of Renewable Energy. The Polish Economic Chamber of Renewable Energy is an economic self-government organization that brings together various companies that have expressed their desire to cooperate in the development of renewable energy sources. They integrate businesses, institutions, and persons who act toward the development of renewable energy sources in Poland. They also have a say on the law regulations relating to renewable energy sources market, monitoring, implementation, and intervention. The chamber also influences over the coordination and coherence of various sector policies in the scope of the renewable energy sources market.
5 ) Polish Wind Energy Association. As a non-governmental organization, the Polish Wind Energy Association was established by a group of interested Polish citizens who displayed interest in the implementation of wind power technologies. This association has actually becomes the most effective organization that is lobbying for the creation of a suitable legal framework permitting the development, as well as operation of renewable energy sources. The strategic target is, “The superior goal of the Association is to improve existing and create new legal provisions and to increase political and social awareness insofar as wind power to enable its dynamic development and increased use in Poland.”
6 ) Polish Foundation for Energy Efficiency. FEWE, the Polish Foundation for Energy Efficiency is a nongovernmental organization that looks to promote energy efficiency and the production of environmentally friendly energy. One of the projects is the Polish Energy Efficient Motor Program, an organization that encourages sustainable electricity management and investments into energy efficiency.
7 ) Polish Solar Energy Society. The Polish Solar Energy Society is a nongovernmental organization established in 1994 to “foster the sciences and technology in the application of solar energy; to encourage solar energy fundamentals and applied research, and development in the country.” The society’s main activities center around the encouragement of technical solar energy know-how and information dissemination of renewable energy and energy efficiency.
8 ) Polish Wind Energy Society. The Polish Wind Energy Society is a nongovernmental organization involved in the spreading of wind energy use knowledge, publishing information on wind generators, lobbying the promotion of renewable energy, especially on-shore and offshore wind energy, participation and initiation of demonstrations in wind energy, and organizing research studies. The society has cooperated with numerous organizations, institutions and companies, including the Warsaw Foundation for Sustainable Energy, the Institute for Renewable Energy in Warsaw, and the Polish Economic Chamber of Renewable Energy.
9 ) Increase in Wind Energy Use. Currently, wind energy accounts for more than six percent of the net electric energy production. Frost and Sullivan analysts have indicated that the wind energy sector has seen the most significant increase in installed power among all renewable energy sources currently being utilized in Poland. According to Frost and Sullivan, this increase was due in large part to the accessibility of new finance sources, as well as the increase in foreign investors attracted to Poland because of the high price of their certificates.
10 ) United Kingdom Investment into Polish Cleantech. The United Kingdom has realized the need of Poland to increase its renewable energy sources and provided large opportunities. Martin Oxley, CEO of the British Polish Chamber of Commerce said, “If there are two areas of greatest interest when it comes to the Polish economy these days, they are infrastructure and energy. If Poland is to increase its share of energy generated through renewables to 20% by 2020, from 3% today, it means a vast amount of investment will be required.” One example is Torftech’s biowaste powered combined heat and power plant in the town of Swidnica.
Article by Shawn Lesser, Co-founder & Managing Partner of Atlanta-based Watershed Capital Group – an investment bank assisting sustainable fund and companies raise capital, perform acquisitions, and in other strategic financial decisions. He is also a Co-founder of the GCCA Global Cleantech Cluster Association ”The Global Voice of Cleantech”. He writes for various cleantech publications and is known as the David Letterman of Cleantech for his “Top 10″ series. He can be reached at email@example.com