PODDEBICE (PL): city of the sun
The municipality of Poddębice (Łódź Voivodeship) can pride itself on one of the biggest solar installations in Poland and is at present the leader of the Polish Solar League. As befits a leader, Poddębice doesn’t rest on its laurels and reaches for new solutions allowing the better use of local renewable energy sources.
Poddębice has completed a project entitled “Modernization of the heating system and thermomodernization of buildings located in the city of Poddębice”. It consisted in thermomodernization of 7 public utility buildings, 2 municipal residential buildings,12 buildings belonging to the Housing Communities and 13 buildings belonging to the Housing Association.
The project also included modernization and enlargement of 2 boiler houses (switching from coal fuel to biomass, mostly straw), modernization of nearly 3,5 km of heating network (connecting new consumers to the network and successive liquidation of coal-fired boiler houses) and installation of 325 solar collectors for heating usable running water, the total surface of which comes to 580 square meters. Following bodies were engaged in the project realization: the Municipality of Poddębice, Communal Service Company in Poddębice, Housing Association in Poddębice and Housing Communities of Poddębice. The total cost of the investment is estimated at approximately 17,5 million PLN. It is worth a remark that realization of the project will result in significant ecological effect (saving thermal energy by reducing its losses). Moreover, biomass utilization will let agriculturists increase their incomes and will result in creating new jobs. For comparison – 2500 tons of straw briquettes can replace about 1500 tons of hard coal.
Thermomodernization of the “North” Housing Estate that had been carried out few years earlier was a proof for local authorities that such solutions are effective. Within the frameworks of the project three coal-fired boiler houses were replaced with one gas-fired boiler house. New boiler house is connected with the solar installation placed on the roofs of 7 blocks of flats (715 solar collectors with total surface area of 1287 square meters). Realization of the project resulted in significant reduction in emissions of pollution. Only in the year 2006 solar installation produced 1800 GJ of thermal energy. In order to produce the same amount of energy approximately 58 thousands of cubic meters of natural gas is required. Carrying out of the investment allowed to reduce SO2 emission by 29 tons (which is 100%), CO2 emission by 6300 tons (84%), dust emission by 33 tons (100%) and nitrogen oxides emission by 8 tons (90%). In the following years next solar installations were installed in Poddębice: 149 collectors (total surface area: 268 square meters) were installed at the hospital building and 78 collectors (total surface area: 135 square meters) were installed at the building belonging to the Complex of High Schools.
At present, there are over 1267 solar collectors working in Poddębice, the total surface of which comes to 2200 square meters. It makes the city one of the Polish
leaders in the area of solar energy utilization. Another positive aspect is the fact that also the citizens of our city build solar installations on the rooftops of their houses. The costs are not small but they return in about 8 years of utilization. As a result the inhabitants of our city achieve savings and contribute to the ecological effect. Large amount of solar collectors on the rooftops of buildings as well as the significant amount of solar energy being used in Poddębice make the citizens call Poddębice “The City of the Sun”.
Poddębice plans to take advantage of another renewable energy source – geothermal waters, which will be used for medical, energy and recreation purposes. After several years of trying, Poddębice managed to get an extraction licence and received co-funding for making a borehole from National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management. The amount received comes to 6,5 million PLN. „Obtaining money for realization of this important investment gave us great joy” – says Piotr Sęczkowski, Mayor of Poddębice. Poddębice has already chosen the areas where drillings will be carried out and 12 ha were reserved for the investment in the Municipal Land Use Plan.Hospital in Poddębice, the construction of which began in 1994, is among those who will benefit from the investment. Thanks to the extraction of geothermal waters it will be possible to create a balneological department in the hospital. Then Poddębice will be able to organize rehabilitation stays. Thanks to the large amount of geothermal waters Poddębice has a chance to become a leader in utilization of geothermal resources - not only in the voivodeship but also in the whole country. Prepared by: Andrzej Peraj, Poddębice City Council