Expert Voices: Magdalena Zowsik and Marcin Wróblewski, Chief Specialists, City of Warsaw – on the city’s sustainable energy leadership
Warsaw is one of the greenest large cities in Europe, with forests, parks and arable lands covering 47 percent of its area. As to climate and energy, our city was one of the first four Polish signatories of the Covenant of Mayors, a European Commission initiative for local governments to limit GHG emissions through actions focused on improving energy efficiency and increasing share of renewable energy sources.
In 2011, the Warsaw City Council adopted the Sustainable Energy Action Plan (SEAP), which calls for reducing CO2 emissions in Warsaw by 20 percent by 2020. It also sets an auxiliary target of increasing the city’s share of renewable energy to 20 percent. Achieving these ambitious goals requires major action across various city offices and in coordination with internal and external stakeholders.
Warsaw’s Plan was recently highlighted by the European Union’s “Cities on Power” project, led by City of Warsaw in cooperation with City of Klagenfurt, Province of Ravenna, Province of Turin and five expert institutions from Poland, Austria, Italy and Germany. The aim of the project was to promote the use of renewable energy in urban areas and in this way support the Covenant of Mayors initiative. The results of “Cities on Power” project were presented at a final conference the city of Warsaw organized on October 22, 2014. Nearly 150 conference participants learned about key outcomes of the partners’ 3-year work, including Local Action Plans on Renewable Energy Sources adopted by Warsaw Klagenfurt and provinces Torino and Ravenna. Warsaw is the first city in Poland to adopt such a plan, focused entirely on renewable energy as a means of reducing carbon dioxide emissions.
In order to encourage local stakeholders to invest in renewable energy, the Cities on Power project also resulted in the development of an interactive, online decision support system – “energy calculator”. The tool will help inhabitants, residential associations and other interested stakeholders to see whether it is cost-effective for them to install a solar panel on their roof or a heat pump in their household. To encourage citizens to invest in renewable energy, Warsaw and Klagenfurt are also providing financial support schemes. The tool is integrated with solar and geothermal maps, which allow project partners to determine the potential for renewable energy in the cities and regions involved. As more people decide to install solar panels and other renewable energy installations in the next few years, carbon dioxide emissions will decrease faster, helping us breathe cleaner air and ensuring energy security in our cities.
To check out the energy calculator, click here.
To see the final publication of the project, click here.