The transition from fossil fuels to renewable and sustainable energy sources has become the European Union’s top developmental priority, with low-performing countries in Central Europe facing the most urgent need. As the region’s largest country, Poland’s continuing economic progress has not come without significant costs; due to its history in electricity production, in 2009 it had the highest rate of production by coal of any EU member state. This makes Poland Europe’s third largest polluter in terms of damage to society, home to six of Europe’s 30 most damaging power-plants, and to be among Europe’s worst for public exposure to harmful pollution. At the same time it is experiencing rises in domestic electricity demand twice the EU average. This makes Poland the most urgent nation in the EU with regards to the need for immediate conversion to renewable energy systems and resources. However, unlike traditional power facilities, energy produced by RES often produces unpredictable and variable outputs related to weather, season, and geographical location. While Polish research now has expertise in many of the technologies needed for energy transition, it lacks critical knowledge in modelling, planning, integrating, and managing large-scale renewable energy systems in a flexible and effective manner. The SUPREME project twins one of Poland’s best energy research centres, the Instytut Maszyn Przeplywowych Im Roberta Szewalskiego Polskiej Akademii Nauk with needed expertise in Denmark (Aalborg University), the Netherlands (University Twente), and Austria (the European Sustainable Energy Innovation Alliance). Focusing on needed knowledge transfer in integrating energy technologies, the project’s well-formulated mix of extended staff exchanges, joint work, Summer Schools, and other events will create a long-lasting and effective partnership that will have a very significant impact on Poland’s energy systems infrastructure.
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