Works on a special Offshore Wind Act are pending. Its final design may be known in several months
Assumptions to the Act are being developed by the Parliamentary Offshore Wind Energy Group chaired by Zbigniew Gryglas, MP. The assumptions will be forwarded to Ministry of Energy.
“We want the Act to be published and adopted in the Autumn (2019 – ed.). This will enable investors and financial institutions to select the best solutions for them,” MP Gryglas said during the “The future of renewable energy” debate in Money.pl.
A strong signal for investors
In accordance with Arkadiusz Sekściński, Deputy President of PGE Energya Odnawialna, the inclusion by the government of approximately 10 GW of offshore wind farms in the generation structure in the 2040 perspective is a strong signal for the interested investors. Such a provision was included in the draft energy policy subject to public and interdepartmental consultations.
For the largest energy group in Poland, whose portfolio already includes 545 MW of onshore wind farms and who has won a governmental contract for further 88 MW, the development of offshore wind farms is one of strategic options. It enables to boost its RES capacities, which eventually are to constitute 25 percent of its energy mix.
Ambitious PGE targets
Sekściński assures that the first megawatts from PGE offshore farms may be fed into the grid already in 2025 or 2026 at the latest.
The group holds location permits for 3.5 GW and it has already applied for environmental decisions for 2.5 GW of that capacity.
“Equity is actually searching for such projects. To date, within PGE we secured financing for the development process,” Sekściński noted.
Currently, the development includes wind measurements; studies of the existing seabed will follow soon. PGE also recently commenced the search for a strategic joint venture partner.
Polish supply chain
The entire process is time-consuming, also due to the need to prepare the industry for participation in such projects. Today, our companies are already delivering solutions for offshore turbines built abroad.
“We already have approximately 100 enterprises ready to deliver components worth 40-50 percent of the entire investment; in the future this will amount to as much as 80-90 percent,” reminded MP Gryglas.
In his opinion, offshore wind may become the Polish specialty.
The opening discussion on the Polish energy transformation should incorporate as much renewable sources as possible. “We have advantageous economic growth, which usually is related to increased energy demand. This increased consumption will be covered by wind, PV or biogas plants, i.e. small, distributed installations,” Gryglas explained.
Wind: a remedy for exorbitant prices
Janusz Gajowiecki, President of the Polish Wind Energy Association (PWEA) stresses the gap between the cost of electricity production in a conventional power plant and wind farms.
“New wind farm investors already declare the readiness to produce 1 MWh below PLN 200, which is less than on the wholesale market. In subsequent years the price will decrease to approximately PLN 160. At the same time electricity from conventional sources costs 350 PLN/MWh,” Gajowiecki argues. “The gap will increase to the advantage of renewable sources – first onshore wind, PV, and eventually, in 5-10 years, also offshore wind,” PWEA President added.
This is crucial in the context of ongoing discussions on higher electricity prices for industry and consumers, whose effects the government attempts to alleviate by ad-hoc protective measures. Wind energy may permanently decrease wholesale prices and emission performance of the economy.
PWEA calculations demonstrate that a full release of wind potential onshore and offshore would reduce CO2 emission by 30 million tonnes in the 2020-2040 perspective. “This is comparable to the annual emissions from Bełchatów Power Plant,” Gajowiecki concludes.