Poland and Norway look into straw as a renewable energy source

A bilateral meeting of representatives from the Lubelskie region of Poland and Telemark county council in Norway took place on 7 April in the British town of Grantham, ahead of a study visit to the nearby Sleaford Renewable Energy Plant.


From Telemark county council: Lise Wiik, deputy chair, and Trond Kjellevold, senior international adviser.
From Green Business Norway: Anna Larsson, Market Director Poland.
From the Lubelskie region: Slawomir Sosnowski, Governor, Krzysztof Hetman MEP, Krzysztof Buczynski, Michal Dec, Deputy Mayor of Biłgoraj, Jaroslaw Bondyra, Deputy Chair of Biłgoraj city council, and Wieslaw Rozynski, mayor of Biłgoraj.
From TergoPower: representatives from the biomass logistics department under the leadership of CEO Øystein H. Kvarme.

The Norwegian company TergoPower plans to invest in several renewable energy plants in Poland, where coal is still the primary raw material used to produce electricity. TergoPower wants to build plants that will produce electricity using biomass, and has found a natural base for its operations in the agricultural region of Lubelskie.

Renewable energy in Poland’s larder
“We build value chains based on proximity to the energy sources. This is one of the reasons why Lubelskie was an obvious first choice for us – it’s Poland’s larder,” explained Einar O. Vangsnes, founder of TergoPower, on a previous occasion.

Slawomir Sosnowski, governor of the region, underlined the importance of Polish–Norwegian interregional cooperation to Lubelskie. The regional authorities in Lubelskie view TergoPower’s investment plans as a significant contribution to the development of both renewables and the local economy. Exchange programmes are in place between universities in Lubelskie and Telemark, funded by the Norwegian Financial Mechanism. Contact has also been established between upper-secondary schools in Lublin and Porsgrunn with a view to starting joint projects to promote young entrepreneurship.

The Polish delegation in Grantham included the former governor of Lubelskie, Krzysztof Hetman, who is now a Member of the European Parliament. He is positive about the cooperation between Lubelskie and Telemark as well, and claims that this kind of investment is very important and contributes to Lubelskie region development.

The Polish delegation visited Sleaford Renewable Energy Plant in Lincolnshire on 8 April, joined by representatives from Green Business Norway and TergoPower. The visitors were able to observe the pioneering green biomass technology, which offers an efficient way to extract green energy from straw and thus an extremely attractive source of income for farmers in the Lincolnshire area.

Interregional cooperation agreement to be signed in autumn 2015
Lise Wiik, deputy chair of Telemark county council, has invited representatives from Lubelskie to Telemark in the autumn, when the parties will sign the cooperation agreement.

Wiik said she was grateful to have had the opportunity to meet Slawomir Sosnowski and Krzysztof Hetman in Grantham. She emphasised how pleased she was with TergoPower’s investment plans for the Lubelskie region. The investment will be one of Norway’s largest in Poland to date.

“I look forward to discovering more areas for cooperation and I hope that the delegates from Lubelskie will tell us a little about how they have been able to exploit their UNESCO World Heritage status to benefit the region. Telemark county council is in the process of applying for World Heritage status for its industrial heritage,” Lise Wiik said, ahead of the meeting.

Green Business Norway is the coordinating body for the interregional cooperation between Telemark county council and the Lubelskie region in Poland.