Author Archives: Kubasiewicz Antoni

AI helping to harness the Polish sun.

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The solutions of two Polish startups dealing with the use of artificial intelligence may contribute to faster development of solar energy. One of them was used to build the largest photovoltaic farm in Poland.

The solutions of two Polish companies – AI Clearing and Sunmetric can be (or even already are) used for photovoltaic installations of various sizes. The AI ​​technology of the first of these startups is, for example, used in the construction of the country’s largest solar power plant. It is being built on an area of ​​100 ha in the Budzew commune, in a place where a brown coal mine previously operated. The AI ​​Clearing platform analyzes data, such as photos, from drones on an ongoing basis and compares them with construction documentation, thanks to which you can quickly have access to data on the progress of construction works and their compliance with the schedule or project. This technology can be successfully used in other structures, e.g. in the construction of roads or gas pipelines.

The solution of the second startup, Sunmetric, is intended mainly for cities and municipalities. Its task is to optimize the development of smaller photovoltaic installations. It is able to provide the data necessary for installers, such as the surface of the roofs, the angle of their inclination, and the level of sunlight. The data is collected, as in the previous case, on the basis of photos that are analyzed by artificial intelligence and help in the development of photovoltaic systems.

Nuclear Energy in Poland, source of even higher utility bills.

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According to PEP2040, in 19 years, more than half of the installed capacity will be zero-emission sources. The implementation of offshore wind energy into the Polish power system and the commissioning of a nuclear power plant are expected to play a special role in this process. The authors of the document indicate that, parallel to the large-scale energy sector, distributed and civic energy based on local capital will develop. The basis for the development of distributed energy, however, is the digitization of transactions and servicing of contracts between suppliers and recipients.

– We are building civic, distributed energy. This requires virtual reality, digital solutions that will meet energy needs and ensure the management of energy services and the management of energy consumers. We strive to reduce energy needs and provide the amount of electricity that end users need. We need a completely different approach to energy and a completely different vision of how the energy needs of Poles should be met. The proposals for digitization are not enough, says Prof. Zbigniew Karaczun.

Poland’s energy policy assumes that by 2030 there will be an approximately fivefold increase in the number of prosumers. On the other hand, there will be 300 energy sustainable areas at the local level. Connecting an unstable energy source is to be combined with the obligation to ensure balancing in periods when RES does not supply electricity to the grid. Hybrid solutions, combining, for example, self-balancing with the use of energy storage, are also to be promoted.

– Despite the beautiful declarations contained in this document, there is no political will to make a profound transformation and move away primarily from burning fossil fuels, i.e. coal and natural gas. We have to make this leap, first of all, to base the Polish energy sector on zero-emission sources, i.e. mainly renewable energy sources – points out the expert.

According to specialists, the shift from energy based on fossil fuels to renewable energy is only part of the energy transformation. As important as ensuring clean energy sources, it should be to maximize energy efficiency. Meanwhile, the primary energy intensity of GDP with climatic correction, although it is decreasing year by year in Poland, still remains at a high level compared to the rest of Europe. In 2017, according to the Central Statistical Office, this ratio was 0.137 kg / euro, which was 16.6%. more than the European average. In practice, this means that our production is energy inefficient.

Today, we could use three times less energy, and maintain the level of development we have today, and build rapid social and economic development in our country based on energy efficiency – comments Prof. Zbigniew Karaczun.

Energy Clusters in Poland, promise for growth?

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The creators of energy clusters want the local community to be strengthened, to be aware that thanks to the production of local energy – not only in the form of electricity, but also in the form of heat or even cold – it has a chance to create an energy autonomous region. Such a region can be an energy cluster.

There are currently 66 energy clusters in Poland. Those certified can take the challenge of communication, negotiation and all that is associated with the national level, such as the Polish Power Exchange, because that is where you can buy energy cheaply and sell it dearly.

Energy clusters are a topic that finally has a chance to develop. Clusters are very interesting places also in terms of developing photovoltaics. Why? If we would look at the precise selection of photovoltaic installation, which is the key when it comes to the individual user, in the balance we can see a clearly defined amount and value of energy consumed for our own needs. This energy can be obtained from two sources: from the grid or from your own roof. In fact, the owner of a micro photovoltaic installation would like his house to be supplied primarily with energy from his own roof. Special energy meters used in heat pumps from brand-name manufacturers make it possible to significantly increase self-consumption, i.e. to increase the use of energy from one’s own roof.

Energy clusters are an alternative form of redistributing energy from photovoltaics and other RES sources. A good example of energy cluster is the municipality of Michalowa in Podlasie, which took a very ambitious challenge on many levels. An almost autonomous system was created, which operates almost independently from the entire power grid. Why? Because they have their own biogas plant with a 0.5 MWp cogeneration system (producing heat and electricity at the same time), a 0.5 MWp photovoltaic farm, their own micro-installations (e.g. on a school complex) and interesting local solutions in the form of electricity and district heating networks. All this makes this municipality, developing together with its coordinator, the IEN ENERGY team, create a certain new order.

We try to make the systems that work within the energy cluster as interconnected as possible. This is especially true for heat pumps. Imagine thousands or millions of heat pumps that can act on a single signal and use the excess energy to balance the whole system. It’s possible, it works, and you can already see it in our own backyard.

Energy clusters – what are the perspectives?
The EU Directive on Renewable Energy Sources RED II, which has been in force since December 2018, has introduced new conditions for the development of renewable energy, to which European Union countries are adapting. Many changes apply to distributed energy and prosumers.

The directive regulates the principles of increasing the share of renewable energy sources in the EU energy mix to 32% by 2030, and the effect is to reduce EU CO2 emissions by 40% compared to 1990 emissions. It is this directive that has somewhat changed the approach to energy communities. Why? Well, it is the EU law that singles out “group-acting renewable energy prosumers,” defined as “a group of at least two renewable energy prosumers acting together in accordance with the definition of a renewable energy prosumer, located in the same building or in a multi-apartment building.”

It is this directive that says “renewable energy community” means a legal entity based on national law, on open and voluntary participation, independent and effectively controlled by shareholders or members located in close proximity to renewable energy projects owned and developed by that legal entity.

The participants of this community – according to the guidelines of the directive – can be individuals, SMEs or local authorities, including municipalities. By 2030, the plan is therefore ambitious and the legal framework generally clear and readable.

Global Climate Change Initiative: UN Summit

Reading Time: 2 minutesFile:UN emblem blue.svgAs of today the UN climate change summit has officially began. The event takes place in Katowice, Poland and will last for around 2 weeks, the lively discussion likes to prolong it self therefore its official closing date is yet to be determined. The so called COP24 will play a crucial role in the future of global climate change, the main goal is to determine a “rulebook” which will guide the nations how to reach the goals stated in the Paris Agreement.

Accoriding to Polish authorities the event will gather around 30.000 people with 195 different nationalities.

Paris Agreement is the first ever global initiative that fights greenhouse gas emissions, signed in november 2016 by 55 nations that are  globaly responsible for 55% of greenhouse gas emission. The assumptions set in the agreement are will start to oblige in 2020. The main is to keep the  increase in global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and to limit the increase to 1.5°C.

However, it is just now in 2018 that the signatories are gathering together to determine an universal rulebook, that will state how to implement the changes, how to measure their effect and when will they be checked. Therefore the next two weeks may play a significant role in how the biggest global initiative against greenhouse gas emission will be fought.

The summit takes place in Poland, being one of the most polluted regions in the world the country should make the best of the event and listen to wiser and “greener” friends. Right from the start however the national agencies shot themeselves in the foot due to a rather comical viral video that presented Poland as a green paradise that really takes the initiative to another level. The fact that this years summit is mainly sponsored by biggest national conglomerates, resposnible for emission of CO2, methane, sulfur and benzen doesn’t help either.Ze strony polskiej szczyt będą wspierać firmy, które mają w tej kwestii najwięcej za uszami - Energa, Tauron, czy JSW

The creation of the rulebook is a one time opportunity to contribute to the proccess of shaping the gas free future, an idea, it seems, totally abstract to the Polish government.

Antoni Kubasiewicz