When deliberating about the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions, Polish press concentrates mainly on the energy sector and keeps forgetting about other sectors, such as households, services, transport and agriculture which are equally active energy producers and consumers. They are frequently responsible, to the extent that is not smaller than the extent of the energy sector’s liability, for the emissions of not only carbon dioxide but also such substances harmful to human life as suspended particulate matter, nitric oxides, sulphur dioxide or heavy metals. These are exactly the sectors that still hide a huge and yet obscure modernisation potential the use of which would be both beneficial to our health and budgets and it would facilitate the challenging transformation of the energy sector.
In the first chapter, we focus on the buildings sector including both residential and commercial buildings. In that Chapter, we present the general patterns for thermal and electricity consumption by the Polish households and business entities, we analyse how those volumes translate into the financial prospects of an individual household or micro-enterprise and, additionally, we outline the potential for implementing energy efficiency practices within that sector. We put our deliberations in the international context by pointing out at the European and global experiences that we should use as the point of reference when planning and implementing the policy of increasing the energy efficiency of our residential and commercial buildings. Chapter One ends with the costs and benefits analysis for the low-energy consumption transformation in terms of both financial resources and emissions. It proves unquestionably that the choice is highly profitable for both individual investors and the entire society.
The second chapter is focused on transportation sector which is critical nationwide. Due to the sector’s key significance for the functioning of the Polish economy, any suggested changes, even if related to measurable health and environmental benefits, must be considered in the context of the supreme goal, i.e. the warranty of uninterrupted passenger and cargo transports. We present the specific sector characteristics and define the alternative future paths. Traditionally, we use international examples that help us identify probable mobility trends for the next decades. Next, the Reader is presented with the reference scenario by means of analysing possible impacts of the transportation industry development. We make a projection of transportation model developments for citizens and business entities.
Drugi rozdział dotyczy newralgicznego w wymiarze krajowym sektora transportu. Z uwagi na kluczową rolę, jaką odgrywa on w funkcjonowaniu polskiej gospodarki, wszelkie sugerowane zmiany, nawet jeśli przynoszą wymierne korzyści zdrowotne czy środowiskowe, rozważane muszą być w kontekście celu nadrzędnego, jakim jest zapewnienie płynnego przewozu pasażerów oraz dóbr. Przedstawiamy te specyficzne cechy sektora i określamy, jakimi alternatywnymi ścieżkami może on podążyć w przyszłości. Tradycyjnie, opieramy się o przykłady zagraniczne, które pomagają nam w identyfikacji prawdopodobnych trendów mobilności w najbliższych dekadach. Następnie wprowadzamy Czytelnika do scenariusza odniesienia, analizując możliwe skutki rozwoju sektora transportu w tym scenariuszu.
The presented modernisation scenario offers an alternative path of development. It is based on the assumption of faster implementation of environmental standards for the vehicles admitted to traffic in Poland, more and more general use of bio-fuels, rational management of urban space and the promotion of sustainable transportation in the areas of heavy traffic. Based on the analysis of costs and benefits related to the investments in increased fuel efficiency, it is beyond any doubt that the option is highly profitable not only in the economic terms but also in terms of environmental and health benefits.
The last Chapter presents the analysis of modernisation for three important sectors of the economy, i.e. the industry, agriculture and waste management. It is the sequence for a parallel presentation of sector characteristics, global development trends and best practices along with the major modernisation activities. Subsequently, we outline the future of these sectors in the reference scenario and discuss the main factors that will affect them, as we believe, for the next few decades. We present the results of passive public policy and private entities’ tardiness in undertaking modernisation measures. Further, we discuss the modernisation scenario and deliberate to what extent we are able to optimally shape the development of the analysed sectors given the consistently undertaken measures in the public and private sector and subject to the distinct characteristics of the sectors in question which trigger different opportunities and challenges. In the final part of this Chapter, we discuss in greater detail the costs and benefits of investments in energy efficiency, waste management and power generation projects in agriculture. In that part we analyse the impact of transformation on financial results as well as the environmental and health impacts which are measured less frequently. The increased social awareness of energy efficiency is an advantage of the scenario which, as we may believe, will also generate positive results in other spheres of life and economy.