Opening event

Geothermal Energy: Opening event of the Training Project in Poland, financed by the EEA FM - 9 February 2021

On 9 February 2021, a meeting was held opening the Project called “Capacity building of key stakeholders in the area of geothermal energy”. It is one of the three pre-defined projects financed by the EEA FM under the “Environment, Energy and Climate Change” 2014 – 2021 Programme.

The Project

The Project is addressed to stakeholders from Poland and shall last until April 2024. It is implemented by the Mineral and Energy Economy Research Institute of the Polish Academy of Sciences in partnership with the National Energy Authority of Iceland (Orkustofnun). 

The Project’s objective is to build the knowledge of key stakeholders in Poland regarding the optimal use of geothermal energy and management of its resources, especially  for the needs of low-emission heating. In particular:

Building the knowledge of key stakeholders in Poland regarding the optimal use of geothermal energy and management of its resources, especially for the needs of low-emission heating.

Enhancing capacity building and methods based on many years of expertise in geothermal energy in Iceland. This objective will be fulfilled through sharing suitable methods, good practices, and technologies supported by governmental initiatives, financial mechanisms, and management strategies.

Increasing energy security, developing low-emission heating and raising social and economic equality by providing clean energy and reducing heating costs. The Project will also contribute to the reduction of pollution and CO2 emissions and mitigation of climate change.

The Project’s main activities include building the potential, training in Poland, study visits to Iceland, expert study visits to selected Polish locations prospective for using geothermal energy, reports on the visits, and disseminating information and communication on the Project and EEA Funds.

The Project stakeholders include representatives of different administration levels, local governments, operators of existing and investors of intended geothermal heating plants, beneficiaries of government support programmes, geological authorities, research organisations, service providers, consultants, and other entities in the geothermal sector.

The Project is a part of measures oriented towards the development of geothermal energy use in Poland. It shall support the investment activities implemented owing to public support programmes initiated since 2016. The Project funding amounts to 3,835,062 PLN (ca.  900,000 EUR).

Opening Event - Information about the Project and calls for geothermal projects under EEA FM and Polska Geotermia Plus

Over seventy participants joined the online Opening Event. They included many Project addressees: representatives of local governments, operators and investors of geothermal heating plants, beneficiaries of government support programmes, geological administration staff, research and development institutions and other representatives of the geothermal sector. The Icelandic parties interested in collaboration with Polish partners, representatives from Norway (NFM Donor State), and the Environment, Energy and Climate Change EEA Programme Operators, including the Ministry of Climate and Environment, National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management, the Ministry of Investment and Development and Ministry of Foreign Affairs also took part in the event. 

The honourable speakers included Maria Erla Marelsdóttir – the Ambassador of Iceland (EEA FM Donor State) to Poland, Gerard Pokruszyński – the Polish Ambassador to Iceland, Adam Guibourgé-Czetwertyński – Undersecretary of State in the Ministry of Climate and Environment, Artur Sz. Michalski – Vice-President of the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management, Piotr Bogusz – Deputy Director, Ministry of Climate and Environment, Edyta Kuźmińska and Maria Cholewińska from the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management.

Another group of speakers represented the Project partners: Krzysztof Galos – Director of the Mineral and Energy Economy Research Institute of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Beata Kępińska – Head of the Project, whereas Orkustofnun / NEA was represented by Guðni A Jóhannesson – General Director, and Baldur Pétursson – Project Coordinator from Iceland.

The speakers emphasised the Project’s significance, particularly in the light of measures undertaken in Poland for the development of low-emission geothermal heating. They highlighted the opportunity to use Iceland’s expertise and tighten the collaboration between the two countries in the area of geothermal energy. 

In his speech, Mr Adam Guibourgé-Czetwertyński pointed out that Poland was facing the energy transformation challenge, intended to increase the share of RES and improve air quality, and geothermal can play an essential role in fulfilling these objectives.  

Mr Artur Sz. Michalski, Vice Chairman of the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management, emphasised that clean air and catching up with other countries in this respect were vital for Poland. The use of geothermal energy for heating, supported by the Project, will help fulfil the objective. 

The Ambassador of Iceland expressed her conviction that the Project would be extremely helpful for broadening the knowledge and extending the scale of future geothermal investments in Poland. It matches the measures implemented to mitigate climate change. Iceland is an example of the significance of geothermal energy, owing to which the country significantly reduced its greenhouse gases emissions. The Ambassador highlighted many years of good relations between Iceland and Poland and the role of EEA FM grants in tightening the bonds with Poland, including in the geothermal field. 

The Ambassador of Poland indicated that Iceland is a global leader in using geothermal as an environmentally friendly and reliable energy source. It is among the pillars of economic development, high quality of life and health of Icelanders. The Project will enable the transfer of some Icelandic experiences to Poland, and geothermal energy should be one of the key areas of cooperation between the two countries.

In their presentations, Edyta Kuźmińska and Maria Cholewińska (National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management) advised about the ongoing calls for geothermal investment projects under EEA FM and Polska Geotermia Plus Programmes. The Directors and representatives of the Project partner institutions: MEERI PAS (Krzysztof Galos and Beata Kępińska) and Orkustofnun/ NEA (Gudni A. Johannesson and Baldur Petursson), presented their organisations’ experience and activity in the geothermal field. The final part of the meeting was devoted to the information about the Project and possibilities to participate in training workshops and study visits (Beata Kępińska). 

According to the meeting participants, the Project is highly promising, e.g. for the stakeholders who begin their “geothermal adventure” and are looking for the opportunities to acquire the necessary knowledge. That is their motivation for interest in the Project activities, especially in training and study visits.

The Meeting agenda and presentations are available below.

English version to be verified at the website of the Ministry of Climate: https://www.gov.pl/web/climate/relation-from-the-opening-event-of-the-predefined-project-in-geothermal-energy

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Project co-financed by the EEA Financial Mechanism for 2014-2021, “Environment, Energy and Climate Change” Program, “Energy” Program Area, Poland.

Program operators: Ministry of Climate and Environment, NFOŚiGW

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