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Training activities in Poland for optimal use of geothermal energy for district heating to increase economic, social, environmental and climate benefits

8.7.2022

Training activities in Poland for optimal use of geothermal energy for district heating to increase economic, social, environmental and climate benefits

Training activities in Poland for optimal use of geothermal energy for district heating to increase economic, social, environmental and climate benefits, was held in Poland 18th to 20th of May 2022.

The training activities were one part of the EEA FM project 'Capacity Building of the Key Stakeholders in the Area of Geothermal Energy'. The project was officially launched on February 9th, 2021.

The aim of the project is to increase energy security, efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions

The aim of the project is to build up the knowledge of the main stakeholders in Poland in the field of geothermal utilization, with an emphasis on district heating with renewable energy sources, which increases energy security, efficiency,

 and reduces pollution and carbon dioxide emissions, which is important in the fight against climate change.

The main project activities include capacity building, training activities in Poland, study visits to Iceland, expert study visits to selected localities in Poland prospective for the geothermal uses and report on these visits, information and communication activities regarding the project and the EEA Funds.

It is one of the three predefined projects co-financed by the Ministry of Finance of the European Economic Area in the Program Environment, Energy and Climate Change, 2014–2021. The project is implemented by the Institute of Mineral Raw Materials Management and Energią PAN (IGSMiE PAN) and the National Energy Agency of Iceland (NEA/Orkustofnun). The project started in October 2020 and will run until April 2024. The kick-off meeting was held online in February 2021.

Great interest in the course which was full

The activities included lectures on May 18 and 19, 2022 in Warsaw and technical visits on May 20, 2022, to geothermal installations of good practice in Mszczonów and in Wręcza. The lecture program was prepared by specialists from Poland and Iceland.

It covered a wide thematic spectrum related to geothermal heating. issues and information that served to bridge the previously identified gaps in knowledge among the main stakeholders from the geothermal sector in Poland.

The lecturers were specialists from NEA, IGSMiE PAN, representatives of the Ministry of Climate and Environment, NFOŚiGW and invited external experts, see the agenda. 

The program of technical visits was prepared in cooperation with representatives of the visited towns, installations, and facilities.The main topics of the training activities were among others, best practice from experienced experts on geothermal applications in Iceland and Poland, leading geothermal policy, strategy, funding, and implementation, public administration for geothermal energy, environmental and climate benefits of geothermal district heating, geothermal engineering on resources, exploitation, surface infrastructure and economic and climate value of geothermal resources.

The training activities were intended for administration of various levels, local governments, operators, investors of implemented or planned heating plants and other geothermal installations, representatives of key stakeholders, public to private sector, beneficiaries of government programs supporting the identification of resources, geothermal energy users in Poland, service providers, consultants, scientific-research entities, geological administration, and others.

There was great interest in the event as it was fully booked with over 40 regular participants, and those that could not attend it this year would have a chance to attend next year-round.

There was a great deal of interest among the Polish participants on the use of geothermal, both on technical and administrative levels. The discussions and high-level materials showed that the knowledge on geothermal has increased significantly over the past few years and gives good promise on further development and uses.At the event there were great interests in many topics and there were informative and constructive discussions regarding some topics. Moreover, the interest in cooperation between Poland and Iceland in geothermal related activities was expressed, too.

A visit by parties from Poland to Iceland is planned this autumn

A study visit to Iceland is planned this autumn and in 2023, attended by the representatives of Polish public and private companies, municipalities, etc. The main purpose is to visit best-practice geothermal district heating installations, explore information, knowledge and cooperative opportunities between Poland and Iceland for improvement in geothermal usage, energy security and to mitigate climate change. At the end of the training activities, all participants got the certificate of attendance.

Visits to district heating companies and businesses in Poland

As a part of training activities, on the 20th of May, participants went for a technical study visit to selected geothermal installations which included geothermal installations in Mszczonów - a heating plant, and a geothermal borehole Mszczonów IG-1 (operated by Geotermia Mazowiecka S.A.), as well as Termy Mszczonów and the Deepspot diving center (one of the deepest facilities of this type in the world ~45.5 m depth).

A person speaking into a microphone

Description automatically generated with medium confidenceSuntago Park of Poland in Wręcza (supplied by geothermal water and energy) - one of the largest water park centres in Europe - was also visited and some of its technological installations were demonstrated.

The visits began with a very interesting meeting with the Mayor of Mszczonów, the Deputy Mayor of Sochaczew (where an investment aimed at integrating geothermal energy into the municipal central heating network is under implementation), with the CEO of Geotermia Mazowiecka S.A.

A significant element of the visit was also a lecture by Dr. Katarzyna Kurek on the impact of the use of geothermal resources on the economic development of communes and local entrepreneurship. During the tour of the other installations and facilities mentioned, their representatives provided a lot of very interesting information and explanations.

Gratification and interest of participants

Positive opinions provided by the participants of the events, as well as representatives of the operators of the EEA FM Environment, Energy and Climate Change Program, was a encouragement and motivation for further similar work. Extremely valuable was the get-together discussions of the topic of geothermal heating and the exchange of opinions and experiences, which took place during lectures and technical visits. Thanks to this, the implementation of the project contributes to building a cooperation network and establishing further activities and contacts between Poland and Iceland

The project partners would like to thank all persons and institutions for their cooperation and contribution

in the preparation of training materials, a textbook, organization and conduct of lectures, technical visits, and all kind of help, interest, and a good atmosphere during the training activities in Poland under the EEA Project "Building the capacity of key stakeholders in the geothermal field" on May 18-20, 2022. The thanks go also to the participants. Successful training activities are the result of good cooperation and multiple commitment. More information about the project can be seen at the project website here.

Photos: Aleksandra Kasztelewicz and Baldur Pétursson

More information about the Project:

Beata Kępińska, IGSMiE PAN, Project Manager, e-mail: bkepinska@interia.pl

Aleksandra Kasztelewicz, IGSMiE PAN, e-mail: castellewicz@meeri.pl

Baldur Petursson, Orkustofnun, Project Coordinator, e-mail: baldur.petursson@os.is     

Press release available on pdf here.