The Energy Policy of Poland until 2040 (PEP 2040), adopted by the government, recognises the improvement of energy efficiency (EE) as one of 8 specific objectives for the transformation of the economy towards low-carbon. The implementation of PEP 2040 may become an economic stimulus for many domestic industries, and the potential to improve energy efficiency in Polish industry is still enormous and does not always need capital-intensive technologies. However, the application of an optimum solution in technical as well as economic terms requires a detailed energy efficiency audit, the implementation of which is often avoided by enterprises, trying to meet the statutory obligation only to a minimum extent.
D. Eng. Piotr Danielski, Vice-President of the Management Board of DB Energy
According to the Central Statistical Office (GUS), Poland consumes over 150 TWh of electricity, of which industry consumes approximately 50 TWh. Half of the industrial terawatt hours are consumed by pumps, compressors and fans. In approximately 70% of cases - if the equipment is old, worn out, too large, without efficient control systems or without their optimisation - electricity consumption can be reduced by 20-30%. In total, the modernisation of industrial equipment has the potential to save over 23 TWh, i.e. over 15% of domestic electricity consumption. This represents 3,000 MW of power in new conventional power plants.
Industry, including the energy-intensive one, is sensitive to unstable energy prices, which influence the costs of company operation. Therefore, it is a good solution to become fully or partially independent from external energy production sources by replacing them with one's own. Self-production of energy gives more stability to the business and better control over production costs, thus maintaining a competitive price for its products on the market.
In our reality, optimal solutions are based on cogeneration installations, renewable energy sources or recovery-based installations, such as low-temperature heat recovery from industrial processes and the use of high-temperature heat pumps. These solutions provide an opportunity to obtain additional support resulting from the Energy Efficiency Act, i.e. white certificates or other support systems, such as system support in the form of a cogeneration bonus.
As part of PEP 2040, the government is planning further support for cogeneration in line with the schemes enshrined in the amended EED. Modern CHP has the potential to become one of the leading sources of energy for industry. It is unrivalled in terms of flexibility of operation, ease of operation and capacity utilisation. At the same time, it does not generate energy disturbances, which is favourably viewed by DSOs, who are willing to connect gas units to the grid even in locations with difficult balancing conditions.
Efficient management of the transition and making tariff plans more flexible will be helped by the development of energy systems based on modern information and communication technologies (ICT). In this area, intelligent equipment diagnostics should be implemented and support should be given to solutions enabling industrial failure management, as they have a significant impact on the level of capacity utilisation and production efficiency. Innovative systems that monitor machines in industry in combination with IT solutions from the BIG DATA area, provide monitoring of industrial processes, which is necessary to manage an intelligent factory.