The Polish town of Kisielice has received the European Commission’s ManagEnergy Award 2014 for its clean energy leadership. It is 100% powered by renewable energy (wind and biomass, to be specific). The prize is to award outstanding local and regional sustainable energy projects. Kisielice’s submission was titled, “Energy self-sufficient Commune of Kisielice.”
Mayor Tomasz Koprowiak of the small community in the province of Warmia-Mazury received this thanks for his work with the town to reduce emissions, abandon dependence on coal, and improve air quality. This is quite an anomaly in Poland, which gets over 90% of its electricity from coal.
“We have a strategy for our community to develop in this way, to become energy self-sufficient. This European Commission’s Award confirms that we have taken the right path,” said Mayor Koprowiak.
The abundance of agricultural land makes it possible to place a lot of wind turbines on the farmland. Over 50 wind turbines with a total capacity of 94.5 MW have been installed their. “Wind turbines are especially good at fitting onto a farm without hindering its output. In fact, in some cases, the wind turbines can improve yields,” Sustainnovate notes.
There’s also a 6-megawatt biomass boiler in Kisielice to supplement the wind turbines. It burns cereal straw that comes from local farmers, which boosts their income. It is connected to a district heating network that provides heat for 85% of the community’s buildings.
Praised by Jury member Fiona Harvey due to its variety of technologies, Kisielice continues on the path towards energy independence. RenewEconomy reports: “A third wind farm of 24 MW is currently under construction and already partly in operation. Later this year, the town will announce a tender for the purchase and installation of the region’s first solar photovoltaic plant.”
Poland has a long way to go to kick its horrible dirty energy habit, but hopefully this town inspires others to follow suit. Here at CleanTechnica, we recently reported that Alstom secured its first deal for implementation of a wind energy project in Poland, “This project, expected to be commissioned by the end of 2015 would be one of the largest wind farms in Poland, and would be built at an estimated cost of €80 million.”