Driving Ban Questioned

Fighting the Fight

Fighting the Fight (c) S. Kaminski

According to the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights, driving license bans for exceeding a speed limit of 50 km/h in a built-up area violates the Constitution. There are already many arguments supporting the argument that it is for the Constitutional Tribunal to decide what sentence to impose in these circumstances. Firstly, revoking taking away someone’s license is tantamount to giving someone an administrative penalty, which is imposed together with other penalties determined in the Highway Code. Dr Marcin Warchoł, an expert in criminal law from the University of Warsaw says that by punishing someone both administratively and criminally violates the ne bis in idem rule, i.e. someone cannot be punished twice for the same offense. This itself violates the Constitution.
prawo.gazetaprawna.pl 

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Solar Energy for All?

More Power?

More Power?

According to data provided by the Institute of Renewable Energy, Photovoltaics (a method of converting solar energy into direct electricity) is improving year on year. Installed capacity (out-grid and off-grid) already reached 12.7MW in April 2015 in Poland. Moreover, IRE expects that companies will begin selling 100MW panels in 2015. Growing interest in Photovoltaics is making the industry more valuable. IRE claims sales reached PLN 99 million in May 2014 and PLN 121.5 million for the whole of 2014. Other companies are convinced that the situation is actually much better. Łukasz Nowiński, head of FreeVolt, a company specialising in the sale of photovoltaic systems, believes that the IRE data actually underestimates the value of solar energy because the survey did not take into consideration all companies on the market. Mariusz Stawarz, sales director at Tarnów Hymon Energy says that they have had 300% more orders than at the same time last year.
eko.pb.pl

Russia Rules in Poland

Made in Russia

Made in Russia

A surprising effect of the Russian embargo is that Poland has never before imported so much food from Russia. After Russia imposed an embargo on various products from the West, including Polish food, export to Russia last year plummeted by almost 30% to a record low level of €880m. However, Poland spent €160.6m importing food from Russia, which is almost 79% more than in 2013, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. Never before has Poland seen such a boom in Russian agri-food products. “This is the effect of the depreciation of the rouble,” explains Zbigniew Ekiert from the Trade and Investment Promotion Section of the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Moscow. He continues, “last year the value of the rouble against the euro and dollar plummeted by almost 50%, which means that Russian products have become twice as cheap for foreign customers. Polish businesses have noticed this opportunity, and prefer to buy on the Russian market.” According to Ekiert this can be observed most clearly in the Kaliningrad Oblast. Today, it is less profitable for Russians to go to Poland to go shopping, but Poles, on the other hand, are buying food as well electronics on the Russian side.
tvn24bis.pl

Polish Exports Increasing

Flying the Flag

Flying the Flag

Exports from Poland will rise 5-6% in the near future. By 2030 exports will be double that of today. According to reports, Poland’s chief trade partners are currently Germany, Great Britain and France. However, markets in Turkey and China and other Asian countries, where exports from Poland are set to rise by 10% every year, are also potential game changers. The main products exported from Poland will still be industrial machinery and transportation equipment. However, the make-up and proportions of exports from Poland will change.
rp.pl

Fight for Clean Polish Air

Dirty Chimneys

Dirty Chimneys

If municipal councils decide to introduce areas with limited car traffic, vehicles will be assigned different classes, depending on the amount of exhaust fumes they produce. This is the outcome of an amendment to the Environmental Protection Law. Currently there are no car traffic regulations that could protect the quality of air in Poland. According to the amendment the power to introduce such regulations will be given to municipal councils. If there are any traffic limitations for particular areas, vehicles will have to be properly marked in order to cross into them. To obtain appropriate badges car owners should give information about the type of vehicle they own, its brand, model, year of first registration and the registration number. When the application is verified, the owner of the vehicle will receive a badge of a corresponding colour: red – class 2 (e.g. for cars with spontaneous ignition engines registered 1997-2000), yellow – class 3, green – class 4 and so on. Such registration will cost PLN 10.
serwisy.gazetaprawna.pl

First Underwater Building in World

Underwater Delight

Underwater Delight

The creation of the first underwater building in the world has been discussed in Tricity (Gdańsk-Gdynia-Sopot). Scientists from Gdańsk University of Technology and Deep Ocean Technology are working together on a project which financed by the National Centre for Research and Development. Initially, the building was supposed to be a research facility, but three years of research were completed without the need of a prototype. At first, a new hotel was to be built in place of the research facility, but ultimately a science centre is planned for construction. The main objectives of the research centre will be exploring new technology, underwater robotics, testing remotely-operated vehicles and a training centre for diving. The construction of the facility is expected to take two years and cost up to PLN 100 million. The underwater building consists of two discs: a steel disc submerged at a depth of 12.5 metres and a second disc above the water. Additionally, the discs are connected with a transport shaft. Three locations are being considered for the building: Beniowski Wharf in Gdynia, near the pier in Brzeźno or next to the breakwater at the entrance to the sea port in Gdańsk.
tvn24.pl

Poland Imports Electricity

Importing Power

Importing Power

In 2014, Polish power plants produced less electricity than was consumed by domestic consumers. This was the first time since Poland’s political and economic transformation (in 1989) that the country was a net importer of electricity. The main reason was cheaper electricity from Poland’s neighbours, which has become a serious challenge for the country’s doctrine of ‘electricity independence’. Sweden, which is connected to Poland by cable along the bottom of the Baltic sea, provides large amounts of energy from hydroelectricity plants. Swedish energy is 25% cheaper than electricity on the Polish Power Exchange, according to the March “Power and Fuels” report produced by Energy Solutions. Energy can also be bought significantly cheaper on the German EFX power exchange in Leipzig, as much as 20% cheaper than in Poland. This is a result of the high number of power plants with low production costs that use renewable sources, nuclear power and lignite. The fast-growing share of green energy on the market of Poland’s western neighbours (subsidised by German consumers, for example) will mean the continued lowering of energy prices in European power markets. The Polish and Lithuanian energy bridge, which is planned to start on December 2015, may also contribute to the lowering of prices on the Polish market, as it will increase the possibility of energy import from Scandinavian countries. Contrary to what one might expect, cheaper imported energy has not yet meant a lowering of prices for consumers.
energetyka.pb.pl