Industry worried about Poland wavering on offshore wind goal

Industry worried about Poland wavering on offshore wind goal

The offshore wind sector is worried Poland’s government may waver on its previous offshore wind ambition after the outgoing energy minister sent a new draft of the country’s energy strategy that lowers Poland’s 2040 offshore wind target to 8GW.

Warsaw in a first draft of its long-term energy plan from a year ago had still envisaged 10.3GW of wind at sea by 2040.

“We are a bit concerned as offshore wind industry, that the last version of the Polish energy policy is not increasing the capacity, but (instead) is lowering it a bit,” Janusz Gajowiecki, president of the Polish Wind Energy Association (PWEA), said at a briefing at WindEurope Offshore 2019.

With an offshore wind potential through 2050 of some 28GW in Polish waters according to WindEurope, the country should have ambitious plans in order to become a leader in wind at sea, he added.

Polish offshore wind executives present in Copenhagen were appalled by the intended downscaling of the offshore wind target.

“Was I disappointed, or even angry at the publication [of the new draft]? I actually was angry enough to cancel some meetings when I learned about it,” said Monika Morawiecka, CEO of PGE Baltica, a subsidiary of Polish state-owned utility PGE Polska Grupa Energetyczna, that is in talks with Danish offshore champion Orsted to sell it half of its 2.5GW Elektrownia Wiatrowa Baltica 2 and 3 projects.

But Morawiecka stressed that even a scaled-down 8GW goal is still a big potential to realise.

“It is about us investors delivering the first few projects on time, on budget, cost-efficiently, to really show and demonstrate that we can do it in Poland.”

PWEA will cooperate with governmental bodies and with the help of the companies in the association try to convince the incoming government to increase the future capacity of offshore wind again, Gajowiecki assured.

A final draft of the energy strategy is slated to be published in two or three weeks, followed by three or four months of public consultations and parliamentary votes, he estimated.