In the Polish part of the Baltic Sea, offshore wind farm projects are currently being developed with a total capacity of approximately 8.4 GW, including 5.9 GW from so-called phase I projects and 2.5 GW from so-called phase II projects. Meanwhile, according to analyses commissioned by the Polish Wind Energy Association, the potential is much higher, amounting to as much as 33 GW, with an expected annual energy production of 130 TWh.
– The Baltic Sea is our great national asset, its potential for the development of wind energy is immeasurable,’ says Alicja Chilińska-Zawadzka, General Director of EDF Renewables Polska. As she emphasises, the development of the offshore industry is not only to provide cheap and green energy, but it can also be a flywheel for the Polish economy and contribute to the creation of thousands of highly specialised jobs.
– The development of offshore projects will translate into stable, reliable energy sources and energy security for Poland. It has the potential to become a flywheel for the Polish economy and contribute to the development of local supply chains. The update of the state energy policy shows that the capacity in wind energy – both offshore and onshore – has been strongly increased and this is the direction we should follow,” says Alicja Chilińska-Zawadzka to Newseria Biznes agency.
According to the assumptions of the PEP 2040 forecast scenario presented by the Ministry of Climate and Environment, by 2040 low-carbon sources, i.e. RES and nuclear, will already account for approx. 74 per cent of installed capacity. Offshore wind power will have a significant share of this, with installed capacity projected at 5.9 GW in 2030, rising to 18 GW a decade later. For onshore wind power, these figures are expected to be 14 and 20 GW respectively. In terms of projected energy production, offshore wind is expected to account for approximately 18 per cent and onshore wind for approximately 14 per cent in 2040.
Last year’s report “Potential of offshore wind energy in Poland”, commissioned by the Polish Wind Energy Association (PWEA), shows that the potential of this sector is much greater and may ultimately reach 33 GW, with an expected average annual energy production of 130 TWh. Indeed, the PWEA report identifies 20 new areas in the Polish part of the Baltic Sea, including 18 in the exclusive economic zone and two in the territorial sea, where windmills with a total capacity of almost 18 GW and an expected annual production of 70 TWh may additionally be built.
– The Baltic Sea is our great national asset, its potential for the development of wind energy is immeasurable,’ says the CEO of EDF Renewables Poland.
Offshore is one of the fastest growing renewable energy technologies not only in Poland, but also worldwide. In the Polish part of the Baltic Sea, preparatory work is currently underway for the construction of the first wind farms, from which electricity is expected to flow as early as 2026. So far, support has been granted for the so-called Phase I projects with a total capacity of 5.9 GW, but administrative procedures are underway, which are expected to result in the granting of further permits for the so-called Phase II projects with a capacity of 2.5 GW.
– EDF Renewables has submitted 10 applications for 10 sites in the Baltic Sea for the Polish offshore programme and we have so far been awarded four sites. In each of these four awards, EDF received the second highest number of points. This shows how good our bid was, as we scored very highly against many other investors – and as many as 123 applications were submitted in total. Now, like the entire industry, we are watching and waiting for the results of other locations and hope that one of them will be assigned to us for implementation,” says Alicja Chilińska-Zawadzka.
As she emphasises, due to the rapid development of the offshore sector and ambitious plans to develop it in the coming years, Poland is currently a country of strategic importance for EDF Renewables.
– As a State Treasury company, we understand that the development of offshore wind energy is one of the main pillars of energy security. Offshore, as well as all renewable energy sources, is a guarantee of energy independence and independence from exported fossil fuels – emphasises the General Director of EDF Renewables Polska.
Besides, the development of the offshore industry is also expected to stimulate economic development and create thousands of highly specialised jobs. According to estimates in the PWEA report, if the full potential of the Baltic Sea was used, the offshore energy industry could satisfy up to 57 percent of the country’s total electricity demand by 2040 and generate more than 100,000 jobs, as well as PLN 178 billion in gross added value during the development phase and PLN 46 billion annually during the operational phase (based on EY’s calculations for PWEA). When the productivity of Polish service providers is fully utilised, the local content in the supply chain for offshore wind farms in the Baltic Sea would in turn reach 65 percent, which represents a major opportunity for the Polish economy.