A race against time When will Polish offshore wind energy come into play?

Wind power is playing an increasingly important role in Poland's electricity system. Onshore wind farms are expected to become the second source in the electricity production mix this year, overtaking lignite. And as early as 2026, the first terawatt-hours from offshore wind turbines in Poland's Baltic region will be added to the Polish mix. In a new report by Forum Energii, we outline the state of the game: whether offshore will be launched on time, how to improve processes so that investments are made without delays, and how to realize the real potential of offshore wind energy on the Polish coast. 

Key findings

  • The development of offshore wind energy is a strategic direction for Poland’s energy transition, which will help strengthen the country’s energy security. The implementation of the first 6 GW of offshore wind projects should coincide with the retirement of old coal-fired power
    plants.
  • It is equally important to effectively launch the implementation of further 12 GW in phase II, in order to optimally utilize the resources and supply chains of the initial projects. In this way, offshore wind energy will fill the post-coal gap in the domestic power sector after 2030.
  • Offshore wind energy has one of the highest capacity factors among renewable technologies (over 40%),1 which will effectively help supplement the energy mix.
  • An analysis of current projects indicates that their timely completion is possible. However, there are risks that need to be managed on an ongoing basis in order for current projects to be built on time. The risks include:
      - weakened supply chains (including installation vessels, turbines, towers, foundations and cables), which were shaken by the COVID-19 pandemic,
      - increase in the costs of materials, equipment and labor, making it necessary to update financial assumptions of projects,
      - delays regarding the expansion of installation and service ports,
      - timely expansion of connection infrastructure,
      - lack of personnel with the appropriate competence and authorization to implement projects.
  • Over 90% of offshore wind turbine components installed in Europe in 2019 were manufactured on our continent. In order to preserve the so-called local content along with dynamic plans for further offshore energy development in Europe, the output of the offshore industry needs to grow. This is one of the main challenges of the EU’s industrial and climate-energy policy. Notably, according to the EU’s strategy, offshore energy is to be the main pillar of a decarbonized power sector.

Date of publication:: 20 May 2024

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