Practical faces of decarbonization

Luc Williams

At the beginning of the discussion, Krzysztof Bolesta, Secretary of State, Deputy Minister of Climate and Environment, talked about support in decarbonization.

– I cannot help but start my statement with KPO. This is a huge bag of money that we now have to spend in a very short time, wisely and with great discipline, he said, emphasizing that a large part of the money is intended for green projects. He recalled that the European Commission imposed a minimum requirement to spend funds on climate projects.

– We exceed this requirement by as much as 47%. funds go to green things, said Krzysztof Bolesta. – I hope that we will manage to publish all of them – he added.

He pointed out that investments financed from KPO will indirectly help companies. The largest item is support for the “Clean Air” program. Under it, Poles can reduce the emission intensity of their homes. This will translate into orders for various products and services, e.g. related to thermal modernization. Another large program is “My electricity”, which, as the deputy minister noted, stimulates the market for batteries and photovoltaic panels.

Krzysztof Bolesta, Secretary of State, Deputy Minister of Climate and Environment / Press materials

– This is the first impulse from the government to encourage companies to invest – said Krzysztof Bolesta.

He also pointed out that repayable instruments will be available under the KPO to help companies implement green projects.

Dorota Dębińska-Pokorska, partner, leader of the energy group at the consulting company PwC, assessed that Polish business is already gaining a green dimension. Not yet to the same extent as in Western Europe, but it is visible.

“Companies do it for different reasons,” she said.

The first group, a small one, does it voluntarily. Others have to go in this direction because this is what their customers or, more broadly speaking, stakeholders expect. Participation in global value chains forces actions to reduce the carbon footprint. Some companies, however, are waiting and doing nothing yet, the PwC expert calculated.

She divided the activities undertaken by companies into three groups: relatively easy to implement (low hanging fruit, such as guarantees of origin, green energy, photovoltaics on their own land, hybrid cars), activities that increase the operating costs of companies – hence these are difficult decisions, because they may impact competitiveness (e.g. electrification, when electricity replaces gas), and investments by companies that have the ambition to achieve climate neutrality by 2030 or 2050. As Dorota Dębińska-Pokorska noted, this is not always possible because there is no appropriate technologies.

Veolia is among the companies that have declared to reduce their carbon footprint to zero by 2050. Jan Pic, president of the management board and general director of Veolia Energia Poznań, said that it is possible and cited examples of investments and projects from the capital of Greater Poland, such as replacing coal with gas or recovering heat from industry – for example, Veolia's cooperation with Volkswagen provides 4 MW, once lost. In turn, plans for cooperation with municipal companies provide for heat recovery from sewage.

In 2020, ORLEN declared that it would achieve emission neutrality by 2050, and it was the first fuel company from Central Europe to do so. Decarbonization has become a key element of the entire group's strategy.

Stanisław Barański, director of the Office for Sustainable Development and Energy Transformation at ORLEN / Press materials

Stanisław Barański, director of the Office for Sustainable Development and Energy Transformation at ORLEN, pointed out that decarbonization in Europe is primarily the result of regulations, regardless of the correctness of this direction.

– If we look at the energy sector in the perspective of 150-200 years, it developed rather due to stimuli coming from technology and the economy. We switched from burning wood to coal and then to oil, noted Stanisław Barański.
He added that there is also market pressure, much more visible from ORLEN's perspective than a few years ago, and is related primarily to the expectations of business customers purchasing semi-finished products and petrochemical products.

The company's representative also referred to the support for decarbonization under the KPO.

– It is very much needed by large entities such as ORLEN, if only so that the Polish economy can achieve specific goals by 2030, to which it is obliged by selected elements of the Fit for 55 package. An example is the RED III directive, i.e. the third version of the directive about renewable fuels, which we don't talk about much, and this is the regulation that, in my opinion, will affect us the most, much more than the ban on the sale of cars with combustion engines from 2035. It imposes on EU Member States a very specific and very restrictive obligation to provide an appropriate level of fuels. renewables in 2030 – said Stanisław Barański.

He emphasized that ORLEN, from the point of view of the Polish state, is a tool to achieve goals, such as ensuring a specific share of renewable hydrogen in the RFNBO.

Wojciech Świątek, director of sustainable development for Central and Eastern Europe at Schneider Electric, pointed out how important it is in the face of decarbonization to reduce emissions in the so-called scope 3. This is a commonly used GHG Protocol methodology, according to which scope 1 is the company's direct emissions, 2 – indirect emissions related to the purchase of energy, and scope 3 covers the entire value chain. A representative of Schneider Electric talked about analyzes that showed that without cooperation with the supply chain, the company's offer will not be decarbonized.

Stanisław Barański also talked about it. To put it very simply: in the case of Orlen, with this calculation system, 85 percent. emissions fall into Scope 3. These are emissions generated by oil and gas suppliers and the company's customers. The answer to this challenge (because it would be difficult to talk about e.g. limiting sales) is the development of a green offer, such as providing green energy for electric cars, RFNBO hydrogen, biomethane or CCS services (carbon capture and storage), provided to external customers. .
– In the long term, this creates new areas for growth and prospects for the company after 2030 – concluded the representative of Orlen.

Press materials


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