Breakthrough for smart grid in Poland


Mariusz Swora,
President, URE
Warsaw, Poland — (METERING.COM) — October 30, 2009 – The success of the introduction of smart metering in Poland is dependent on many factors, with the primary task being to make a decision on how to implement a smart metering system and therefore, on what legislative changes are necessary.

There is also a need to coordinate actions in order to achieve uniformity of the technical solutions and precision in defining the functionality of such a system.

At a conference co-organized by the Polish Sejm and the Energy Regulatory Office (URE) this week, almost 200 experts representing the Polish energy and science sectors, consumer organizations and industry, parliament and administration, gathered to discuss these and other issues pertaining to the development of smart metering and a smart grid in Poland.

Mariusz Swora, president of the URE, commented that the introduction of a smart grid would move the Polish power sector into the twenty-first century. For the regulator the key issue is to define the state’s role in the implementation of smart metering, and Swora said the state should create the conditions for the development of such a system and assure that the interests of consumers are protected.

EU and national regulations, including the state energy policy 2030, all refer to the gradual implementation of smart metering systems. The Ministry of Economy declared that in order to achieve this task it intends to appoint a program counsel, which will gather experiences on the implementation of smart metering in other countries, and will prepare an analysis of the possible implementation of such a system in Poland, taking into account the need for standardization, and will develop necessary legislation.

Within the Polish transmission system operator, legislative incentives will be introduced to install smart metering devices and an Independent Metering Operator will be established as a “central repository” operated independently from the existing energy groups. The project will be completed in 2015.

Commenting on the Swedish experience in the implementation of smart metering Marielle Liikanen from the Energy Markets Inspectorate, pointed out that since consumers have started to receive bills based on actual consumption their awareness of how they consume energy and their tendency to use energy effectively has increased. In Sweden also a significant increase in the numbers of energy supplier switching has been noticed.

The conference was concluded by Andrzej Czerwiński, MP and chairman of the standing parliamentary subcommittee on the energy sector. He asked energy consumers to actively participate in the decision making process so as to ensure that the proposed solution will protect the end user. He also encouraged all the participants, representing the various stakeholders, to actively cooperate in the field of smart metering implementation.

“There is a great chance before us. Please accept the invitation to cooperate on the smart grids project so that we can prepare the effective implementation of the smart grid in the Polish power system,” said CzerwiÅ„ski.

During the conference a National Smart Grid Platform also was announced. This initiative is focused on elaborating the policy papers and monitoring the implementation of a smart grid in Poland, with special consideration of the interests of end-users. The Platform will be active within the frame of the parliamentary subcommittee on the energy sector.