Energy independence for citizens and entrepreneurs in Poland is a very topical and important topic. W
recent years we have seen the photovoltaic revolution and the development of other renewable energy sources,
which are accelerating the energy transition in the country. However, there are still some constraints that
hinder the development of RES, and one of the most serious is the problem of grid constraints.
As Piotr Siergiej of the Polish Smog Alarm highlighted, energy self-reliance can be considered at
at different levels, from the individual level of the homeowner to the level of the local government or the state. W
case of the homeowner, he or she is the most self-reliant, as he or she can not only use the grid, but also
also produce energy for himself. With energy clusters, on the other hand, municipalities can achieve
relative energy self-reliance.
Adam Abramowicz, Minister, Ombudsman for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, pointed out that entrepreneurs are also
strive for energy self-reliance, but so far it has not been achieved either in Poland or in Europe.
The key here will be energy storage facilities, which can provide independence and supplement sources of
energy. However, as he noted, companies often get lost in the maze of regulations and this hinders them from establishing
their own energy sources.
In this context, it is important for the Polish government to take measures that facilitate the development of RES and enable
entrepreneurs and citizens to decide on their energy sources. As pointed out by Krzysztof
Kochanowski, Vice President of the Management Board, Director General of PIME, there are still some obstacles in Poland, but it
it should be noted that this is a gradual process and takes time.
Is the future an island energy industry, with millions of off-grid microgrids on rooftops and
backyards? This is a question that begs itself. As Piotr Sergey noted, “island power generation may
be the future, but rather in the case of low-power renewable energy sources.
Adam Abramowicz pointed out that the key factor for achieving
energy self-reliance of entrepreneurs and citizens are energy storage facilities. Thanks to them, it is possible to
store electricity produced by RES and use it when RES sources are unable to supply sufficient energy.
unable to supply sufficient energy.
However, current regulations governing the establishment of photovoltaic or wind installations are complicated and
hinder RES development. Krzysztof Kochanowski, Vice President and General Director of PIME, pointed out
to the problem of network constraints, which are the most serious limitation of RES development:
The biggest problem in RES development is network constraints. If there are already a lot of
photovoltaic or wind installations, the grid operator is not able to accommodate more. This requires
investments are therefore needed in the development of the grid, but also in energy storage facilities to store the energy
generated in periods of surplus and use it in periods of deficit.
Energy transformation is a process that is taking place slowly in Poland. We are still dealing with
energy system that was created in the 1960s and is based on central management
and a single operator managing the transmission networks. However, with the emergence of distributed energy
distributed energy, such as windmills and photovoltaics, this system is no longer sufficient. As he said
Krzysztof Kochanowski, Vice President and General Director of PIME, “citizens have gained the possibility to
produce their own energy. These innovations have been followed by international legislation. Regulations
European regulations that govern distributed energy are also being implemented in Poland, but very slowly”.
The problem with the current energy system is its centralisation, which results in a lack of transparency
in governance and inequalities in access to energy. As Kochanowski noted, “the energy system needs to
change: it needs to be decentralised and the distribution companies, which are currently still assets of large energy concerns, need to be separated.
large energy corporations. Operators must be more transparent so that everyone has equal
rights when it comes to the availability of connection capacity”.
Piotr Siergiej is of a similar opinion, drawing attention to the barriers faced by the energy sector in the
transformation process. As he said, “This is not a sector that is open to change. We see some minor
modifications, but they are insufficient. Maybe there needs to be a change in the philosophy of thinking about what the
serve the country’s energy system – whether to make money or perhaps to make the citizens’ lives
better”. Sergei points to the need for a change in thinking at the highest level so that the energy sector can become a
a service to citizens and not just a business.
However, Kochanowski argues against this approach, noting that we have already operated in such a
system in which the power industry incurred costs to pull lines to remote villages. Today, thanks to distributed
energy sources, such investments are becoming uneconomic. As he said, “nowadays in such a village it is more profitable to
to create its own energy source than to bring a power line to it.
According to Piotr Siergiej, energy transformation in Poland is necessary not only due to the
consumers’ expectations, but also for environmental reasons. As he pointed out:
We can no longer exploit coal the way we do now. Our neighbours – Germany and the Czech Republic – have
have long since embarked on an energy transition and are moving away from coal. For us, as a country with vast resources of
wind and solar energy, there is no other option but to switch to clean energy sources.
Whatever the future decisions on the energy transition in Poland, the fact remains
change is needed and necessary. As Krzysztof Kochanowski pointed out, in the current situation the energy system
energy system in the country is outdated and inadequate. It needs to be decentralised, and distribution companies
distribution companies should be unbundled. Operators need to be more transparent and the central system
should act as a backup.
Undoubtedly, energy transformation will require time, financial investment and a change in mindset.
thinking. However, as Peter Sergey stressed, it is necessary for the future of our country and our planet:
We must be aware that the future of our planet depends on us. We are the ones who decide what kind of world
we want for our children and grandchildren. The transition to clean energy sources is inevitable, but it depends on us how
quickly and effectively.
Two days filled with meetings, more than thirty debates, round-table discussions, motivating power speeches, dozens of Polish and foreign experts – this is how the largest environmental event in Central and Eastern Europe – the TOGETAIR 2023 International Climate Summit – is presented. The event takes place at the University of Warsaw Library on 20-21 April. TOGETAIR 2023 has received prestigious patronage from Polish and foreign institutions, including the President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, and the Prime Minister, Mateusz Morawiecki.
The full agenda of the event including panellists is available at: https://togetair.eu/agenda/
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PARTNER ENERGETYCZNY: Tauron
PATRONATY INSTYTUCJI EUROPEJSKICH: Komisja Europejska przedstawicielstwo w Polsce, Roberta Metsola, przewodnicząca Parlamentu Europejskiego.
HONOROWY PATRONAT UCZELNI: Uniwersytet Warszawski
HONOROWY PATRONAT: Prezes Rady Ministrów Mateusz Morawiecki
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Polskie Stowarzyszenie Magazynowania Energii, Fundacja Fair Trade Polska, Columbus, Centralny Port Komunikacyjny
PATRONATY UCZELNI WYŻSZYCH: Akademia Górniczo-Hutnicza w Krakowie, Polska Akademia Nauk, Politechnika Warszawska, Szkoła Główna Gospodarstwa Wiejskiego, Szkoła Główna Handlowa, Uniwersytet Warszawski
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