All Hands on Deck! Offshore Sector Needs Polish Supply Chain and Foreign Know-How

by dbereza

All Hands on Deck! Offshore Sector Needs Polish Supply Chain and Foreign Know-How

by dbereza

by dbereza

Ensuring investment continuity between Phase I and Phase II of offshore wind farm development is key to establishment of a strong offshore sector in Poland, investors emphasize. Companies’ money and state support are necessary to overcome current macroeconomic challenges faced by new projects. 18 GW of clean electricity by 2040 is at stake. Post-election outcome will be crucial, as well as whether or not the new government will make modern energy sector one of its main programme pillars — a lot needs to be done.

Energy transition in Poland is accelerating. Following the last parliamentary elections, it may accelerate even further. Political parties most likely to form the new government declare the will to make the Polish energy mix greener. Offshore wind farms, being the largest energy investment project in the country’s history, will have a strong contribution. Phase I offshore wind farm projects currently in development or commencing construction mean approximately 5.9 GW of renewable, zero-emission generation capacity. Amendment to the Act on the promotion of production of electricity from renewable energy sources in offshore wind farms provides for a total of 18 GW to be built by 2040, which is great news for the entire economy. However, it must be remembered that offshore wind potential in Poland is much higher.

“A report prepared by our experts demonstrates that Poland exhibits 33 GW of offshore wind potential. Had the entire potential of the Baltic Sea been exploited, offshore wind could contribute to as much as 57% of total electricity demand in Poland, with local content reaching 65% — a true opportunity for the Polish economy. The figures speak for themselves — offshore wind farms may become a strategic element of Poland’s energy security and independence,” announced Janusz Gajowiecki, President of the Polish Wind Energy Association.

Full potential of the Baltic Sea and measures needed to translate calculations into reality will be discussed during annual Offshore Wind Poland conference in Warsaw on 21–22 November.

Macro-economics: The Challenge for Large-Scale Offshore Wind Projects

Macro-economic challenges are a global trend that affects the entire market. Although strive to decrease technology costs was common in the past, today’s supply chain issues and increase in costs stemming from, among others, the war in Ukraine, are a challenge both for the industry and countries that require decarbonisation.

Notwithstanding macro-economic difficulties and disruptions to supply chains, offshore wind farm projects are implemented on schedule and as planned. Bałtyk I (Phase II) and Bałtyk II/Bałtyk III (Phase I) Norwegian Equinor’s projects are being developed rapidly.

Bałtyk II and Bałtyk III, being Phase I projects, entered key component supplier contracting phase, scheduled to end in the first half of 2024. The projects are also being prepared for obtaining building permits. The first onshore works will commence in 2024 (also related to the maintenance base in Łeba), and offshore works are scheduled to commence in 2026. In turn, in line with assumptions, the most advanced Phase II project, Bałtyk I, should be ready for auction in 2025. We hold a location permit and interconnection agreement with PSE. Now we are working on obtaining environmental decision,” said Michał Jerzy Kołodzieljczyk, President of Equinor in Poland. “Ensuring investment continuity between Phase I and Phase II of offshore wind farm development is key to establishment of a strong offshore sector in Poland. Therefore, we are ready to aid the domestic market with our experience and know-how gained through foreign projects to enable the 2025 auction to be held,” Michał Kołodziejczyk added, and explained that an auction is only valid when at least three competing projects take part in it.

All Hands on Deck!

Interest in project implementation in Poland is clearly apparent and declared by many entities, including global industry leaders. The group of investors interested in securing rights to areas in the Polish part of the Baltic Sea, where wind farm projects could be built, is growing. Cooperation with international companies, having vast knowledge and experience in implementation of such projects globally, may aid Polish investors in harnessing the energy potential of the Polish Baltic Sea areas. Moreover, partnership between Polish and international companies is a model that already has been proven in the initial market development phase and enables sharing of investment risk related to project implementation in a new offshore market — Poland.

We are ready to share experience in further development of offshore wind in Poland under subsequent Phase II projects and in subsequent phases,” declares Michał Kołodziejczyk, Equinor. “Deeper Baltic Sea waters exhibit potential for floating offshore wind technology, which we pioneered and are a global leader in, with the first floating wind farm worldwide — Hywind Scotland, and the largest such farm in the world — Hywin Tampen. We want to further pursue the technology, driving its costs down.

Know-how from the more mature markets demonstrates that establishment of effective alliances with experienced foreign partners will help to build a strong offshore wind sector in Poland in a cost-effective manner that contributes to the national industry. In this context one has to remember that foreign entities implementing such projects for many years have well-established supply chains. The cooperation would enable Polish enterprises to access these supply chains, hence foreign markets.

As a developer being one of the global leaders of the offshore market, we have strong relations with our supply chain, what enables us to mitigate negative market trends that affect the entire offshore wind market. At the same time, our presence in the Polish market for three decades enables us to build relations between the largest suppliers and Polish subcontractors, exemplified by cooperation of Polish suppliers and sub-suppliers for British projects,” President of Equinor in Poland added.

Offshore Wind Poland — Next Month!

Given the acceleration in the offshore wind sector, this year’s edition of the conference will be unique. We will discuss the most crucial, current issues hindering offshore wind farm development in Poland, and develop solutions to be presented to the new government as proposals of changes. The agenda includes changed approach to spatial planning, discussion of offshore wind auctions for Phase II and III, methods to maximise local content and macro-economic challenges for offshore wind.

Offshore Wind Poland 2023 is not just a meeting place — it is an event where the industry is developing and proposing specific changes to facilitate offshore wind growth in Poland. To be held on 21–22 November in Warsaw! Registration is now open: Click to Join!