Offshore Wind Energy as an opportunity for the Polish Economy

Tuesday, 14 February, 2017 - 14:30

According to Bloomberg Energy Finance Report Baltic Sea may become the next offshore wind market after the North Sea. Thanks to shallow waters, lower wave heights, weaker tides, low salinity and lack of icing it is possible to reduce costs during project installation, operation and maintenance. In this view, major investors and producers are looking with interest at the development of the Polish offshore wind energy market as it can become a significant player by providing a steady pipeline of projects for the European industry over the coming years.

In 2013, Foundation for Sustainable Energy (FNEZ) estimated that the Polish energy sector, while considering the existing market, environmental and social conditions, will have installed 6 GW in offshore wind farms by 2030. Since then, the estimates were confirmed in other expert reports prepared by: EY, FNEZ and McKinsey & Company. The report prepared by the latter showed that providing deliveries for the OWF projects within the Polish maritime areas will affect not only the maritime industry, but will also generate unprecedented demand for steel (1100-1200 k tones) and copper (30 k tones).

Currently 9 offshore wind farm projects in Poland hold valid location permits which are paid for. First wind turbines are planned to be erected in Polish part of the Baltic Sea in 2021. Such timeframe is dictated by issued decisions and signed connection agreements for projects with a total capacity of 2,25 GW. Currently most advanced projects are being developed by Polenergia S.A. and PGE Energia Odnawialna S.A. with projects of Baltic Trade & Invest, Orlen and Deme following the trail. Polenergia has already been issued an environmental decision for one of the projects. It was the first decision for this type of investment in Poland. In relation to other projects, one is awaiting environmental decision and two other are currently at the stage of preparing EIA report. The remaining projects are awaiting opening of new grid connection capacities.

As the first projects mature new challenges come into view and they will be discussed during conference “Offshore wind energy as an opportunity for the Polish economy” on 27-28th February, 2017 in Warsaw. The following topics will be crucial for further development of offshore wind in Poland:

  1. Cost reduction is one of the keys to obtaining support in the Polish auction system. It is necessary to show the cost-effectiveness of the technology compared to other energy sources. The major effort lies on the technology providers but also on the investors and their capability to optimize the supply chain for the projects. The results of the latest auctions for offshore wind projects: Kriegers Flak, Borselle 1 and 2 show that cost-efficiency of offshore wind is possible.
  2. Creating a supply chain for the first projects is a lengthy process and it should begin well in advance in order to optimize the supply and include potential suppliers in the design process. A share of the contracts will naturally go to Polish industry which already produces components for exports and can minimize the costs of the project due local character. However, highly technological components like wind turbines or substations will have to come from abroad.
  3. Environmental monitoring during construction and post-installation imposed in the first environmental decision will required international experience from companies having track record with similar investments.
  4. More coordinated connection of Polish projects to the grid (meshed grid concept) and creating a Baltic offshore grid integrated with offshore wind farms might become a key factor in bringing down the costs, improve flexibility of offshore wind generation and provide additional security of supply of energy. Creating concept of such grid is one of the goals of the Baltic InteGrid project executed by a consortium of 14 organizations form 8 Baltic Sea region countries.

These and other topics will be discussed during the Conference “Offshore wind energy - an opportunity for the Polish economy” which will bring together representatives of the Polish authorities, investors, financial institution, transmission system operator, technology providers and international experts. The main goal is to discuss the role of offshore wind energy in the Polish economy and its correlation with the new EU goals and to develop an action plan which will enable to utilize the full potential of offshore wind energy in Poland.

Topics discuss during conference

27th February

  1. OFFSHORE ENERGY INDUSTRY IN THE POLISH ECONOMIC POLICY
  2. OFFSHORE WIND ENERGY IN THE POLISH ENERGY POLICY
  3. OFFSHORE GRIDS – COST OPTIMIZATION, SAFETY AND STABILITY OF ENERGY SUPPLY

28th February

  1. ENVIRONMENT,
  2. COST OPTIMIZATION,
  3. SOCIAL COMMUNICATION,
  4. LAW,
  5. GEOTECHNICAL ENGINEERING AND DESIGN,
  6. SAFETY.

Further Information

Source: FNEZ

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