The birth of offshore wind energy in Poland

On 1 July 2020 representatives of the Polish government and Polish wind energy industry signed a “Letter of Intent on cooperation for development of offshore wind power in Poland”. The letter lays out the foundation for the development of offshore wind turbines in Poland.

The letter defines the next steps in the collaboration to jointly develop a strong wind energy industry in Poland. It was signed by Poland’s Minister of Climate Micha? Kurtyka, Minister of National Defence Mariusz B?aszczak, Minister of Maritime Economy and Inland Navigation Marek Gróbarczyk, Minister of State Assets Jacek Sasin as well as representatives of investors and industry.

“Today marks the birth of offshore wind power in Poland. Offshore wind energy has shown its reliability and efficiency elsewhere in Europe. With this joint ‘Letter of Intent’ Polish government and industry send a strong sign to investors and markets – that they want lots of offshore wind too and are putting in place a regulatory framework to support it”, says Giles Dickson, CEO WindEurope.

In its National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP) Poland identified offshore wind energy as one of key technologies to meet its goals for renewable energy for 2030. It is also a strategic project in the draft of Poland’s Energy Policy until 2040. It will help diversifying the Polish national power generation structure that today heavily depends on coal.

Poland’s expansion targets for offshore wind turbines are ambitious. Poland doesn’t yet have any offshore wind farm. But by 2030 they aim to have installed 3.8 GW of offshore wind energy – with 10 GW of new capacity awarded CfDs by then. And by 2050 they want a massive 28 GW, which would make Poland the largest operator of offshore wind power in the Baltic Sea.

In the “Letter of Intent”, the signatories agree to take joint action on the development of the offshore wind energy market in Poland. The letter acknowledges the role of offshore wind in meeting the European Union’s Green Deal objectives while increasing the security of energy supply and reducing Poland’s CO2 emissions. The signatories commit to meet regularly to exchange on progress and experience around the development of offshore wind energy. The meetings will be coordinated by the Minister of Climate.

“The potential for offshore wind power in the Baltic is immense, and the Polish wind industry is ready to get started. Wind will contribute to a more modern, independent and healthy Poland. It will strengthen cooperation in the Baltic Sea region. And it will create future-proof Polish jobs in the manufacturing, service, maritime and port industries”, says Giles Dickson, CEO WindEurope.

The letter is an important step towards Poland’s first “Offshore Wind Act” which is being prepared by the Government and is expected to enter into force in 2020.