Get the latest news about the event and stay informed of promotions and discounts by subscribing to our newsletter.

TF kable


Offshore will bring power to the Polish economy

Commencement of Polish offshore wind development in the Baltic Sea will be a development impulse for many sectors of the economy. A national development programme adopted by the government would be the most efficient facility to exploit the existing potential – these are the conclusions from the “National Offshore Wind Development Programme – an opportunity for the Polish maritime industry” Conference held in Szczecin.

The National Offshore Wind Development Programme is not only a facility to create new electricity generating capacity. I will argue that to the management of the relevant ministries,Chairman of the Parliamentary Offshore Wind Energy Group, Zbigniew Gryglas, MP, declared during the conference organised by the Polish Wind Energy Association and the Polish Offshore Wind Energy Society on 15 February.

In accordance with conservative estimates, wind farms totalling at least 6 GW of installed capacity could be built in the Polish part of the Baltic Sea by 2030. President of the Polish Offshore Wind Energy Society, Mariusz Witoński, estimates that such an investment would create 77 thousand jobs, also in coal-abundant regions, where this may create an opportunity for economic and social transformation, and bring additional PLN 60 billion of contribution to the GDP and PLN 15 billion of VAT/CIT revenue for the state budget. Janusz Gajowiecki, President of the Polish Wind Energy Association, emphasized that 78 enterprises and institutions that could enter the offshore supply chain were identified in Poland.

Installation planning and development usually amounts to approximately 5 percent of the entire investment costs – and there are several entities in the country that could successfully perform this step.

Another group of companies may deliver the necessary components, from steel structures, through rotor and generator elements, gearboxes, control systems to electrical equipment. Most likely the capacity of a single offshore wind turbine after 2020 will reach 8 MW. The construction of the tower for such a large turbine requires 300-400 tonnes of steel, with supporting structure requiring further 750-1,200 tonnes. 6 GW of wind turbines means one million tonnes of steel structures built in the Polish shipyards and ports.

Poland also features companies capable of delivering electrical equipment and the necessary power infrastructure, such as offshore transformer stations, and cables: medium voltage cables connecting wind farm elements at sea, offshore 220 kV cables for electricity transmission to the shore, and onshore 220 and 400 kV cables connecting the offshore sources with the National Power System.

In accordance with POWES, the Polish design offices and shipyards should easily deliver dedicated vessels: ships, platforms and barges for offshore wind farm construction and maintenance. The list includes more than 20 entities, including four key Polish ports – Gdańsk, Gdynia, Szczecin and Świnoujście as well as five smaller harbours, required as auxiliary facilities. Offshore requires construction of logistical base, dedicated piers and basins as well as approach routes to the ports.

The five smaller harbours – Darłowo, Ustka, Kołobrzeg, Łeba and Władysławowo – should become the future centres of Baltic Sea offshore wind farm maintenance. A typical farm operation lifetime today spans 35 years. Therefore, the ports will have the demand for their services secured for decades.

Development of offshore wind energy requires establishment of an extensive supply chain. Offshore supports schemes applied in the West strongly promote the use of local capacity in that respect. The British and French solutions were presented by the expert of the Parliamentary Offshore Wind Energy Group, Przemysław Kałek.

In the UK there is a contracts for difference (CfD) scheme. Investors conclude such contracts with a state-owned special purpose “Low Carbon Contracts Company”. However, to gain access to the support scheme, an investor has to agree with the government the so-called supply chain plan, which requires a local component. In the recent projects the share of this component in the supply chain reached 50%. It has to be stressed that Polish projects could already start with such an involvement of the local component. This is possible because Polish companies for years have been successfully exporting their products and services to wind farms being built in the Western Europe.

In France, under the new 2016 support scheme, bids are assessed against a score of 100. 40 points may be received for the so-called “industrial and social value of the project”. The previous project are in a pre-selection phase, with the government establishing certain guidelines for the evaluation of bids.  The project should primarily “contribute to local development” and “propose innovative solutions to best use the potential of the investment area, taking account of environmental protection and marine safety context”.

Basing on these examples, Przemysław Kałek formulated conclusions for Poland, which demonstrate that it is possible to effectively combine offshore wind power development with the support for broader economic and social processes. The British support scheme model has been approved by the European Commission, and as such may be successfully implemented in Poland within the framework of the existing RES Act. The Polish scheme is also auction-based, where aid is granted to the producers capable of producing electricity at the support level established by the government.