POLAND: Growing use and investment in renewable energy in the food sector

10 August 2011

Krzysztof Korwin-Kossakowski, Emilia Stępień

The Polish food and beverage sector has been increasingly investing into and using renewable energy.

Food and beverage producers are seeking ways to optimize their waste and energy management and use new technologies to utilize waste in order to produce energy.

One of the leaders in the field is the Tychy brewery. It is a member of the international SABMiller Group which goal is to reduce CO2 emissions by 50% in 8 years. Currently, 15% of Tychy brewery’s production is powered by the heat obtained from biogas produced in its own wastewater treatment plant.

Another example is Indykpol, a company producing turkey meat. They have been using a self-invented heating system for the past couple of years. The system is unique and innovative because it is fuelled by turkey feathers. The heat generated from their combustion is used in many technological processes.

There are more examples of innovative ways of acquiring or saving energy. Among them is the solar energy used in McDonald’s restaurants or heat saving constructions of supermarkets.

There are also a number of ways to obtain financing for renewable energy investments. Just recently, the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management announced that this was a record year in terms of applications for obtaining financing for renewable energy investments. The Fund finances 75% of the cost of the investment. This year, the applicants applied for financing of PLN 3 billion (approx. EUR 750 mln) for 151 projects (total value of those projects is PLN 5.7 billion - approx. EUR 1,430 mln). Half of those projects regarded the production of energy from biogas and biomass.

The Fund chose 65 investments to which it will grant PLN 1.26 billion of loans (EUR 315 mln).