Poland has adopted its first ever law regulating offshore wind development in what is expected to help the country transition away from fossil fuels and eventually become the biggest player in offshore wind in the Baltic Sea.
Poland currently has no offshore wind capacity, while over 70% of its electricity is produced from coal and 10% from natural gas or oil. Onshore wind, on the other hand, is the biggest source of renewable energy in the country, accounting for 10% of total electricity production, according to WindEurope.
Poland’s NECP singles out offshore wind as key technology to help cut CO2 emissions
As part of efforts to make Poland a low-emission economy, the country’s National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP) singles out offshore wind as a key technology that will help diversify the power mix and significantly reduce CO2 emissions, WindEurope noted.
The newly adopted law envisages financial support for 5.9 GW of offshore wind capacity, to be allocated by June 30, 2021. After that, the country will award Contracts for Difference (CfD) in competitive auctions, according to WindEurope.
The law targets 3.8 GW of installed capacity by 2030, and 28 GW by 2050
Poland could see its first offshore wind turbines installed by 2025, and the law targets 3.8 GW of capacity by 2030, 10 GW by 2040, and 28 GW by 2050, which would make the country the biggest market for offshore wind in the Baltics.
Last November, the European Commission unveiled a strategy that seeks to increase the EU’s offshore wind capacity 25 times by 2050, to 300 GW.
Large-scale offshore wind projects could unlock EUR 29 billion of investments
The Polish Wind Energy Association (PSEW) estimates that large-scale offshore wind will unlock EUR 29 billion of investments and create tens of thousands of jobs in Poland. The new law will also contribute to the country’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic crisis.
Welcoming the passage of the “historic” bill, Giles Dickson, CEO of WindEurope, said that Poland can now expect lots of jobs, growth, and investments, adding that the wind industry looks forward to helping make it all happen.
Poland’s ports will become “renewable hubs” for offshore wind turbines
Kamila Tarnacka, vice president of the PSEW, said offshore wind development will build a strong maritime industry around the sector and help revitalize Polish shipyards and ports. According to WindEurope, Poland’s ports such as Szczecin, Gdańsk, and Gdynia will transform to “renewable hubs” for the storage, assembly, transportation, and maintenance of offshore wind turbines.