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Twinning for a Sustainable, Proactive Research partnership in distributed Energy systems planning, Modelling and managEment

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - SuPREME (Twinning for a Sustainable, Proactive Research partnership in distributed Energy systems planning, Modelling and managEment)

Reporting period: 2017-02-01 to 2018-10-31

The transition from fossil fuels to renewable and sustainable energy sources has become the EU’s top priority, with low-performing countries in Central Europe facing the most urgent need. As Poland’s continuing economic progress has not come without significant costs; in 2009 it had the highest rate of production by coal of any EU member state. This makes Poland Europe’s third largest polluter, and home to six of Europe’s 30 most damaging power-plants. At the same time it is experiencing rises in 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, 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 RES technologies, it lacks critical knowledge in modelling, planning, integrating, and managing renewable energy systems in a flexible and effective manner. The SuPREME project twins one of Poland’s best energy research centres, IMP PAN with needed expertise in Denmark (AAU), the Netherlands (UT), and Austria (eseia). 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 created a long-lasting and effective partnership that will have a very significant impact on Poland’s energy systems infrastructure and climate footprint.
"The SuPREME project is focused on knowledge transfer in the field of distributed energy systems planning, modelling and management to provide practical solutions in Poland on a national scale. In the project the knowledge is transferred from three excellent partners stemming from well performing EU countries in terms of innovation, i.e. Aalborg University (AAU, Denmark), University of Twente (UT, the Netherlands) and eseia (Austria) to the project coordinating institution - Instytut Maszyn Przepływowych Polskiej Akademii Nauk (Institute of Fluid-Flow Machinery Polish Academy of Sciences - IMP PAN) in order to help them to reach excellence in the developing research field.
During the project the knowledge transfer and research collaboration was initiated through staff exchanges, workshops, individual trainings, participation of IMP PAN researchers in PhD courses offered at the partner universities, workshops, a summer school and other events. They enable to increase the S&T capacity not only within IMP PAN but also in the region where IMP PAN operates and which is slower to develop in terms of innovation than the EU average. Through the constant contact and collaboration with the excellent partners, IMP PAN research staff raised their scientific profiles and have joined international research community.
As the project started there was already the modern facility KEZO research centre of Polish Academy of Sciences with all the needed equipment for energy systems investigations and a dedicated group of scientists with ambition to explore new avenues. However, in the three-year period preceding the project there were only several scientific publications of IMP PAN on the national level but no article in any peer-reviewed international journal, and no international conference presentation in the research field of distributed energy systems modelling, planning and management. During 3 years of SuPREME IMP PAN researchers managed to enter international scientific audience through submitting abstracts for international conferences and conference presentations. Enhancement of research capacity works in two directions, collaboration with IMP PAN and access to the KEZO laboratories also widen the research scope of excellent partners. Conference papers and presentations were prepared in cooperation with AAU and UT, and communication and exploitation activities of eseia in the project draw interest in new proposals in this field of eseia members and organisations from outside the alliance.
Within the reporting period IMP PAN has strengthened their position also on national and regional level. The ""energy management"" group is considered to be one of the best in Poland in the field. The head of the department was invited by the Ministry of Energy to be an expert in a working group within the ministry preparing a national program of ""micro-energy clusters"", that is meant to support Polish communes to become energy independent. There's also a strong collaboration between KEZO research centre and the Mazovia region where the centre is located - Legionowo Energy Cluster has been established with a strong support from IMP PAN, gathering municipalities that are located close to the reserch center. Also industry has recognised the potential of knowledge development within IMP PAN and advantages from establishing close relations in the field of managing energy systems. Here, big industrial players (eg. PGE - the biggest energy supplier in Poland, TOYOTA Poland) as well as SMEs come into play. There are continuous talks about joint projects, financed either from national, company own or even European grants. Several proposals have been submitted and some of them have received funding.
Enhancing research capacities of project coordinating institution outside the consortium is part of the Twinning set of goals. IMP PAN, while strengthening ties with SuPREME partners, is also open to collaborations with other excellent research organisations. There has been ""Letter of intent"" signed by IMP PAN and CEA from France, which was an incentive to set a common research agenda, smart energy systems being part of it. There's also cooperation in the field initiated with E.ON Research Center in Aachen, Germany. Also six Polish top technical universities have signed cooperation agreements with IMP PAN, focused on utilising KEZO research centre smart grid laboratories. Moreover, being already an EERA member, IMP PAN joined a new established Joint Programme on Energy Systems Integration.
With these three Twinning partners in place, IMP PAN is able to acquire the expertise needed to fill all of the identified knowledge and capacity gaps, and join EU leading networks of excellence in the field as an equal partner."
SuPREME has a very significant impact across a number of axes. First and foremost, it greatly improves the overall scientific and innovation capacity of the IMP PAN team in the field of energy systems integration and management, and raises the profiles of the researchers and the organisation to a much higher level within the EU, allowing it to join larger Europe-wide networks. Secondly, the knowledge gained is further transferred within Poland for the benefit of the country’s energy sector, greatly assisting with the transition to renewable energy sources, and reducing harmful pollution and climate change contributors. Thirdly, it significantly raises the level of overall excellence and innovation potential within IMP PAN, and creates new opportunities for Polish research and industry within the sector. Finally, it has a significant impact on the young researchers who benefit from exposure to leading international experts in Denmark, the Netherlands, and Austria; these young researchers form the basis for the next generation of scientific excellence in Poland.