The transition from fossil fuels to renewable and sustainable energy sources (RES) has become the European Union’s top developmental priority, with low-performing countries in Central Europe facing the most urgent need.
Due to a slow-developing economic climate, the roll-out of intermediate renewable energy technologies in Poland has typically lagged well behind the rest of Europe, and the historical legacy of coal dependency focuses much of Europe’s worst pollution within the region. For these reasons, the roll-out and embedding of advanced RES will likely find its maximum impact in improving European quality of life within the Central European countries. However, many barriers to this difficult transition remain, including technological, economic, social, political, and practical factors.
In line with Energy Roadmap 2050 European guidelines for the transition to RES and a reduction of gases related to climate change, Poland is now focusing considerable efforts to address its unique challenges and develop a nation-wide system for responsible energy production, use, and management. While Polish research has made tremendous advances since joining the EU and now has expertise in many of the RES technologies needed for energy transition, it lacks the knowledge in modelling, planning, integrating, and managing large-scale RES systems in a flexible and effective manner. The SUPREME project twins one of Poland’s most promising energy research centres, the Instytut Maszyn Przeplywowych Im Roberta Szewalskiego Polskiej Akademii Nauk (IMP-PAN) with needed expertise in Denmark (Aalborg University – AAU), the Netherlands (University Twente – UT), and Austria (European Sustainable Energy Innovation Alliance – ESEIA).
Focusing on needed knowledge transfer in integrating energy technologies, the project’s well-formulated mix of extended staff exchanges, joint work, and Summer Schools and other events will create a long-lasting and effective partnership that will have a very significant impact on Poland’s energy systems infrastructure.