The article discusses the importance of small hydro power plants in the Polish power system and defines the legal conditions for the operation of small hydro power plants. The phenomena occurring in the hydrological system of small hydro power plants and their impact on the natural environment were analyzed. An analysis of phenomena occurring in the hydrological system and the activity of small hydro power plants that are operating on the Radunia River helped us identify relations between different types of power plants working in cascades and possibilities of power generation control in period of several days. The above-mentioned analysis has been used in the development of a mathematical model of a hydroelectric plant and cascades of hydroelectric plants. The numerical simulations carried out concerned both the self-operating power plant and a cascade of two identical objects of this type. There is a possibility for small hydro power plant to run as a base load power plant and during periods of high demand as well (peak demand or unexpected loss of generation in the power system). A single hydroelectric power plant can deal with varying peak load demands while adding a second stage increase those abilities. A cascade of reservoir hydropower plants has a much greater ability to store energy and give it back in time. In addition, the existence of a second power plant equipped with a surge reservoir allows for a significant reduction in the amplitude of flows in the river below the cascade, which will reduce the negative impact of the cascade on the environment.
The present paper discusses the new Polish law on higher education in the context of the contrasted global and academic paradigms of university funding, governance, and organization. Its point of departure is the advent of international comparative data in higher education, the measurability of individuals, academic units and institutions in terms of research output, and the emergence of a new social contract between the state and universities. The key concepts used to evaluate the new law are competition in science, academic income structure and academic knowledge production structure, internationalists and locals in science, and vertical differentiation in national higher education systems. The new law is assessed in the context of the original reform proposal suggested by the national team of experts led by the present author and its long-term strategic choices are discussed in more detail, including a changing system of institutional evaluation, a revised system of academic degrees, and new excellence-focused national funding schemes.
This paper summarizes the activity of the chosen Polish geodetic research teams in 2015–2018 in the fields of Earth: rotation, dynamics as well as magnetic field. It has been prepared for the needs of the presentation on the 27th International Union of Geodesy and Geodynamics General Assembly, Montreal, Canada. The part concerning Earth rotation is mostly focused on the use of modelling of diurnal and subdiurnal components of Earth rotation by including low frequency components of polar motion and UT1 in the analysis, study of free oscillations in Earth rotation derived from both space-geodetic observations of polar motion and the time variation of the second degree gravitational field coefficients derived from Satellite Laser Ranging (SLR) and Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) observations, new methods of monitoring of Earth rotation, as well as studies on applications of the Ring Laser Gyroscope (RLG) for direct and continuous measurements of changes in Earth rotation and investigations of the hydrological excitation of polar motion. Much attention was devoted to the GRACE-derived gravity for explaining the influence of surface mass redistributions on polar motion. Monitoring of the geodynamical phenomena is divided into study on local and regional dynamics using permanent observations, investigation on tidal phenomena, as well as research on hydrological processes and sea level variation parts. Finally, the recent research conducted by Polish scientists on the Earth’s magnetic field is described.