In the last 10 years in Poland enormous progress in the field of energy efficiency has been made. The energy intensity of GDP has fallen nearly by 1/3. Our achievements include primarily: a thermo-modernization project carried out under the Act on supporting thermal modernization of street lighting, and the optimization of industrial processes.
Still, the energy efficiency of the Polish economy is about 3 times lower than in most developed European countries and about 2 times lower than the average in the European Union. Additionally, primary energy consumption in Poland, related to population, is almost 40% lower than in the "old 15". This provides a huge potential for energy saving in Poland, which is characteristic for intensively growing economy.
EU support for energy efficiency is provided for Poland primarily by the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management (the National Fund). This institution supports investment projects aimed at improving energy efficiency in Polish entities, both public and private. Depending on the type of support, the person concerned may apply for a non-refundable or refundable grant (e.g. a preferential credit). Grants can be obtained for projects in the following areas among others:
- Energy and Power audits (e.g. heat sources, heating lines, buildings, industrial processes);
- Implementation of energy management systems;
- Efficient use of electricity and gas;
- Modernization of industrial processes;
- Building thermal efficiency improvement.
Apart from the funds managed by the National Fund, the beneficiaries of investing in energy efficiency and resource-efficient operations will also be able to count on grants under the Regional Operational Programmes and the Operational Programme - "Infrastructure and Environment 2014-2020".
The following are expected to be supported as part of these activities: the reconstruction or replacement of equipment and technological installations as well as energy and lighting of buildings enterprises, production halls and business premises, as well as elements of (or entire) media transport routes (heat, cold, water, natural gas, compressed air, air ventilation, electricity) and transport routes of production lines resulting in savings in terms of demand for electricity, heat or cold. Automation and monitoring of utilities support is also expected. Moreover, when resulting from the audit of the energy company, the support may cover the so-called deep comprehensive modernization of the energy performance of buildings and the renovation/replacement of local sources of heat for more energy efficient ones (including replacement for RES installations).
The creation of production system in the supported enterprise will be the result of the operation. This system will take into account the principle of sustainable use of resources. The improvement of energy efficiency will create a more efficient production system in the enterprises, and consequently an increase in economy competitiveness. An additional effect will be an improvement of both energy supply security and the environmental image of the company.
It is required when applying for funds to have an energy audit of the company made in accordance with the Notice of the Minister of Economy of 21 December 2012 on the detailed list of projects aiming at improving energy efficiency to improve energy efficiency, as well as technological changes leading towards this in existing facilities. This audit determines the scope of investments and planned savings.
Funding is granted mainly in the form of a loan on preferential terms of up to 75% of the project value. An additional bonus is the remission of up to 15% of the investment, provided for timely achievement of the projected energy savings and the associated reduction in carbon dioxide emission.
In its hitherto activity STRATEGOR gained subsidies, among others, for the "Interdisciplinary research on improving energy efficiency and increasing the share of renewable energy sources in the energy balance of Polish agriculture" project. The substantive scope of the project directly concerns the issues of energy efficiency and renewable energy sources and their use in farms and food processing plants. It also involves climate change influencing the quality of agricultural production and increases the risks associated with its implementation.
The consortium which has taken up this ambitious project brings together the most important research institutes and enterprises in the country, such as Zakład Doświadczalny Instytutu Zootechniki PIB Grodziec Śląski Sp. z o.o. (Leader), Centralny Ośrodek Badawczo-Rozwojowy Maszyn Włókienniczych "POLMATEX - CENARO", Institute of Technology and Life Sciences in Falenty, The National Research Institute of Animal Production, Wasko SA, The Institute of Soil Science and Plant Cultivation, Institute for Engineering of Polymer Materials and Dyes, Industrial Institute of Agricultural Engineering.