Renewables

Poland’s Offshore Wind Sector Deal to bolster economy, save jobs

Polish Offshore Wind Sector Deal signed energy transition must be planned

Photo: doskey12 from Pixabay

Published

September 24, 2021

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Published:

September 24, 2021

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In order to ensure a just energy transition, the Polish government has signed an agreement with the wind industry aimed at spurring the development of the national wind sector and increasing the participation of domestic entrepreneurs in the supply chain for offshore wind farms in the country. The deal is inspired by a similar agreement signed in the UK two years ago.

The Offshore Wind Sector Deal envisages introducing a new auction system, upgrading Poland’s ports, training workforce and former coal workers, and defining the relationship between offshore wind and other users of the sea. All these activities will help carry out Poland’s energy transition, and make it just.

Poland plans to phaseout coal by 2040, and install 11 GW of offshore wind by the same year

There is not a single offshore wind farm in Poland at the moment, but the country plans to install 11 GW by the end of 2040. Currently, it gets 70% of its electricity from coal power plants (total installed capacity of 31 GW), but it plans to phaseout coal by 2040.

According to WindEurope, under the deal the wind industry commits to the creation of up to 60,000 direct and indirect jobs in Poland’s wind industry by 2040, while the government in turn reinforces the country’s ambitions to accelerate the energy transition with renewables by launching a new auction system and carrying out competitive auctions for offshore wind from 2025.

The wind industry commits to the creation of up to 60,000 jobs in Poland by 2040

The deal was signed by 200 representatives from the Polish government, investors, the wind industry, local governments, and higher education in Poland, WindEurope said.

According to the government, the Polish supply chain for offshore wind farms includes over 400 companies, while over 120 entities have signed the deal. The agreement will be a standing platform for cooperation between signatories, but also future investors.

The agreement was initiated by the Ministry of Climate and Environment in July last year. At the end of October 2020, six working groups started drafting the agreement.

The overriding goal of this agreement is to support the development of the wind sector in Poland and to maximize local content or the participation of Polish entrepreneurs in the supply chain for offshore wind farms established in the Polish exclusive economic zone, the ministry said in a press release.

40,000 offshore wind workers to be trained by 2040

Poland's Offshore Wind Sector Deal to bolster economy, save jobs
Photo: Ministry of Climate and Environment

According to the WindEurope, the deal aims for a share of at least 20-30% of total value in the preparatory, installation, and operation stages of offshore wind projects to be made in Poland by 2025. This share should then increase to at least 45% by 2030, and at least 50% after 2030.

A total of 30,000 direct and indirect jobs should be created by 2030, and a total of 60,000 by 2040, WindEurope said.

The deal will ensure the training and education of 20,000 and 40,000 offshore wind workers by 2030 and 2040 respectively. A special focus lies on reskilling and upskilling former coal miners.

The government has pledged to secure EUR 22.5 billion for offshore wind by 2040

Poland does not have any offshore wind farms, but it plans to build 5.9 GW of capacity by the end of 2030 and 11 GW by the end of 2040. The government has pledged to launch a new auction system in 2025 and to set aside EUR 22.5 billion for offshore wind by 2040.

The deal envisages the upgrade of port infrastructure to make it fit for the construction and maintenance of offshore wind farms.

It is also planned to develop a “Code of Best Practice for the Offshore Wind Sector” in order to define the coexistence between offshore wind and other users of the sea space such as fisheries, the military, or civil shipping, WindEurope said.

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