Published on April 13th, 2016 | by Zachary Shahan16
Times Are A Changin’ … Even In Poland
April 13th, 2016 by Zachary Shahan
Poland isn’t exactly known for its cleantech leadership. ~87% of its electricity still comes from coal, and its electric car market is tiny. Nonetheless, things will change and are beginning to change even here.
As some of you know, I’ve been living in Poland for the past 7½ years — no, not for the climate or coal pollution, but because my wife is Polish and this is what worked best for us at that stage of things. In this time, I’ve seen very little on the cleantech front to get excited about — basically, bikesharing and some nice wind farms. But that has quickly changed in less than a week….
In just a handful of days, I met with a Nissan LEAF owner who has a solar installation startup in the center of the country (I live in the southwest), a Tesla Model S owner who has a solar installation startup in the western part of the country, and a homebuilder in the western part of the country who attended our CLEANTECH REVOLUTION TOUR → Berlin event simply because he saw an ad for it and was attracted to the title. That’s all pretty exciting stuff for me.
The story regarding the LEAF owner, Tomasz Gać, is a particularly fun one: He’s a CleanTechnica subscriber and sent an email response to one of our newsletters. I noticed via his signature that he lived in Poland, so encouraged him to drop me a line if he was ever in Wrocław. He hadn’t stumbled across my bio before and seen that I lived in Poland, but with the invitation we got to chatting and I found out that he has a Nissan LEAF. He was going to bring his LEAF over here to show to the staff at a franchise branch of a courier company he founded (Facebook page here), so stopped by our home as well to share with my wife, daughter, and me. It was a lot of fun. After our meeting (on Thursday), he decided to come over to our CLEANTECH REVOLUTION TOUR → Berlin event two days later. I figured he’d just join for the EV Saturday part, but was happy to see him on Solar Sunday as well… where I found out that he had also founded a solar installation startup! The name is Energia Słonća (Facebook page here). We are already chatting about another idea I’ve been thinking about for a while. If the idea goes somewhere, I’ll be sure to let you know! 😀
Meeting the Polish homebuilder, Tomasz Mocek, and then yet another EV owner with a solar startup is what propelled me to write this article, though. We have a charging station ~2 minutes down the street (by foot) from us, but had only seen one car using it in the past 1½ years before this week — a Tesla Model S from the Czech Republic. Yesterday, on our way into the city center, I spotted another Model S there! It had something written on the side, and I was eager to see it up close, so we walked over. The writing on the side, as you can see, is for solar installation company T&T Proenergy (clever Facebook page here).
Poland may be much slower to provide incentives for electric cars and solar power, and adoption may be much lower, than several other European countries, the US, China, India, Japan, and other large economies, but times are a changin’… even here. I’m happy I got to meet some of the country’s true early adopters and ecopreneurs, and I look forward to working with them to speed up the cleantech revolution in Poland.