In spite of technological, logistic and economic difficulties, interest in renewable energy sources in the world is consistently increasing. This trend is also observed in Poland, mainly due to the urgent need to tackle the problem of climate change, which is caused by the increasing concentration of gaseous pollutants in the atmosphere. The paper presents a short script of the issue of estimating renewable energy resources in Poland in the context of creating local low carbon economy plans at the level of municipalities/counties where RES sources should be taken into account. The author proposed an individual approach to estimate the potential of RES, taking the local conditions and the short characteristics of the small and medium companies sector in Poland into account. These companies have a great application potential to increase the share of renewable energies and to improve energy efficiency in their business. The actions, which are taken by the Ministry of Energy in the field of civil energy development, enhancing local energy security and the sustainable development of renewable energy resources support the development of energy clusters covering one district or five municipalities. In the article, the author presents data on the number of companies possessing a concession for generating electricity in RES installations in the power range from 40 kW to 200 kW. These companies can largely be the nucleus for creating a local cluster in which microgrids will be a key element.
Energy from different sources is fundamental to the economy of each country. Bearing in mind the limited reserves of non-renewable energy sources and the fact that their production from new deposits is becoming less economically viable, attention is paid to alternative energy sources, particularly those that are readily available or require no substantial financial investment. One possible solution may be to generate hydrogen, which will then be used for heat (energy) production using other methods. At the same time, these processes will be characterized by low emission levels compared to conventional energy sources. In recent years, more and more emphasis has been placed on the use of clean energy from renewable sources. New, more technically and economically efficient technologies are being developed. The energy use worldwide comes mostly from fossil fuel processing. It can be observed that the share of RES in global production is growing every year. At the end of the 1990s, the share of renewable energy sources was at 6–7%. Global trends indicate the increasing demand for renewable energy due to its form. Global hydrogen resources are practically inexhaustible, but the problem is its availability in molecular form. The article analyzed the use of hydrogen as a fuel. The basic problem is the inexpensive and easy extraction of hydrogen from its compounds; attention has been paid to water, which can easily be electrolytically decomposed to produce oxygen and hydrogen. Hydrogen generated by electrolysis can be stored, but due to its physicochemical properties, it is a costly process; therefore, a decision was made that it is better to store it with natural gas or use it for further reaction. In addition, hydrogen can be used as a substrate for binding and converting the increasingly problematic carbon dioxide, thus reducing its content in the atmosphere.
Low emission has a significant impact on air quality in Poland. Low sources are found which lead to high concentrations of pollutants in the area inhabited by humans. The effects of low emissions on health and life in the polluted areas (Małopolska, Silesia) are conducive to radical decisions regarding the quality of solid fuels and their combustion facilities. At present, local anti-smuggling laws have been introduced in the two provinces banning the burning of the most emitting fuels such as mules, flotoconcentrates and lignite. Regional EU-funded programs for the use of renewable energy sources (RES) and energy efficiency improvement will transition to the implementation phase of the approved projects as of 2017. This is expected to significantly reduce energy consumption for heating buildings and replacing old boilers and automatic furnaces with low-emission heating devices. In the case of households, proving that the residential building has adequate energy efficiency characteristics is necessary in order to receive co-financing for replacing an old solid fuel boiler with a new low-emission boiler,. The paper will present the current situation on the regulation of the fuel market in the household and small–scale consumer sector and the proposal for changes to the law on monitoring and control of solid fuel quality. Another important issue will be significant changes in heating up to 500 kW, proposed by the Ministry of Development in October 2016. The proposed regulation precedes the implementation of the Ecodesign Directive, which will come into effect as of 2022 for room heaters and heating furnaces up to 500 kW for solid fuels. All these actions will help reduce low emissions and improve energy efficiency.
Wood pellets, commonly referred to as biomass fuel, are increasingly used in heating and district heating in the European Union countries, including Poland. Their use in class 5 and/or Ecodesign boilers enables an individual consumer to use energy from renewable sources, reduce the environmental burden by reducing the emission of harmful compounds, and provides a sense of comfort by automating the boiler system. The article presents the current situation in the global wood pellet market, describes the basic quality standards applicable to this fuel during production, and indicates the difficulties in the implementation of programs co-financing the replacement of obsolete coal-fired boilers with automatic class 5 biomass-fired boilers. The research presented in this article is focused on the presence of contaminants in the DIN Plus, EN Plus, and A1 pellets, as well as in non-certified pellets. The analysis has shown that the use of wood pellets containing prohibited substances negatively affects boiler operation and contributes to the formation of slag and the emission of harmful compounds, making the discussed fuel non-ecological.
The changes in the domestic solid fuel market (including forecasted increases in the fuel prices) and the growing requirements related to actual environmental standards, result in increased interest in renewable energy sources, such as biomass, wind and solar energy. These sources will allow to achieve reduction in the CO2 emission, and consequently – avoid environmental costs after 2020. Therefore, the development of distributed energy systems, based on the use of biomass boilers, gas boilers and high efficiency combined heat and power units, will enable the fulfillment of current standards in the field of energy efficiency and emission of pollutants to the atmosphere. It should be emphasized that the actions taken to reduce emissions (e.g. anti-smog act) will contribute to reducing coal consumption in the municipal and housing sector (households, agriculture and other customers) in favor of biomass and other renewable energy sources. The article reviews selected biomass technologies: - fluidized, dust and grate boilers, - straw-fired boilers, - cogeneration systems powered by biomass, - torrefaction and biomass carbonisation. The mentioned technologies are characterized by a high potential of in the field of dynamic development and practical application in the coming years. Thus, they can improve difficult situation in the distributed energy sector with a capacity up to 50 MW.