The energy industry needs innovation, flexible solutions, and the courage to change, wrote the authors of the report, “Technology in support of Energy,” presented during the 31st Economic Forum in Karpacz. The report was prepared by the Startup Poland Foundation in cooperation with PGNiG Ventures and Microsoft.

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The report covers such fields as photovoltaics, biogas, wind power potential, green hydrogen, and cyber security in the energy industry. Its backdrop is the crises of recent years, i.e. the pandemic, Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and the energy crisis it caused, as well as the climate crisis. All of this is compounded by the digital revolution and the energy transition, and the reform of the energy system.

In fact, many of these issues were discussed and debated in various ways during the Forum. – In the report, we have listed ten key theses and three case studies on this field. The first thing is the matter of changing the philosophy of energy production to distributed generation. The second is the issue of energy storage and how this is becoming a critical issue for the entire system. The third issue is the use of innovations, such as artificial intelligence or machine learning in the energy industry. Fourth – cyber security. The last is ESG and its impact on the functioning of large and smaller companies, Tomasz Snażyk, CEO of the Startup Poland Foundation, said during the presentation of the report.

The discussion around the report included what technologies can bring to energy companies and how best to utilise the potential of innovation in the energy transition.

– Digital technology is necessary to deal not only with the ultimate state in energy, but also with the transition. This cannot be done by hand or using analogue solutions. There is no energy transition without digitalisation. We need to change our way of thinking, argued Tomasz Niebylski, Sales Director at Microsoft Poland.

The discussion also focused on the impact of start-ups on the energy revolution and how to create innovation in this area. – We are currently in a supply and price crisis, but the challenge is energy transition. Poles now need new solutions. In the 1980s and 1990s, much of the innovation was created in corporations. Now this is changing; innovations are being created outside of them. We are there to use these innovations that are designed outside large companies to mutual benefit. From us, start-ups primarily get equity financing and knowledge about the sector they are involved in. We want to build synergies between new solutions that are scaled based on the group and start-ups that receive knowledge and resources. This is how we want to work together, stressed Bartłomiej Mazurkiewicz of PGNiG Ventures.

The debate also included the question about whether small companies can find their way in the energy market, as well as about new initiatives in corporate financing and the search for Polish technological thinking.

– We must not lose this opportunity. Technology chains must be created in Poland. And that’s what we, as PFR, support. Because there is a revolution going on, and we want to be part of it. Two years ago, a decision was made for the Polish Development Fund to bet on green energy, said Tomasz Tomasiak of PFR.

He also stressed the importance of digitalisation in PFR’s operations in other areas. – We have served 350,000 companies under various anti-crisis packages. This would be impossible without digitalisation, he emphasised.

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