Joanna Rakowska, Jarosław Gołębiewski


The EU faces increasing climate, social and economic challenges resulting among others from the negative effects of using fossil fuels. Bioeconomy with its flagship bioenergy sub-sector is meant the key remedy for this situation. That is why the growth of bioenergy production has been promoted and supported in EU financial perspective of 2007-2013 by allocating regional policy funds to strengthen bioenergy sub-sector under operational programs in eligible member states. As Poland has increasing needs to develop bioenergy sector and has been the biggest beneficiary of EU regional policy funds the aim of the paper was to investigate on the main effects of investments in bioenergy sub-sector under operational programmes 2007-2013. The study was based on SIMIK data from the Ministry of Regional Development as of December 31, 2015 and Local Data Bank of the Central Statistical Office of Poland. Qualitative and quantitative analysis show that beneficiaries carried out 80 bioenergy projects of 1442,8 mln PLN total value, including 30,4% EU co-funding under Operational Programme Infrastructure and Environment and 14 Regional Operational Programmes. These bioenergy investments resulted mainly in construction and modernization of biomass power plants, of which nearly 50% where agricultural ones as well as in constructing new and expanding already existing biomass-based heating systems in public institutions. Findings show big regional differentiation of the bioenergy investments: from none in mazovieckie (the biggest NUTS 2 in Poland) and opolskie to cumulation of nearly 33% of bioenergy projects under OPs 2007-2013 in warmińsko-mazurskie. EU co-funding for individual projects ranged from 15% to 85%, however for nearly half of them it was higher than 45%, conditioning realization of the projects fully. Concluding, EU funding was a significant source of financial support for bioenergy sub-sector in Poland, resulting in developing it especially in warmińsko-mazurskie voivodship.

Keywords: biomass, EU regional policy, Poland, renewable energy

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