Poland eyes 12GW Baltic wind bonanza

Poland’s largest energy company has outlined plans to develop 16 wind farms in the Baltic as the country moves away from coal for electricity generation.

Radoslaw Pachecki, project manager for maritime projects at state utility PGE Polska Grupa Energetyczna, told a Maritime Economy conference in Gdynia that the company was planning to install three sites itself, and would develop 13 others in association with other companies.

He added that Poland’s Baltic coast had the capacity to generate up to 12GW of electricity, and could have an economic value of more than €14bn by 2030.

It was announced at the end of last week that PGE had started discussions with Danish windpower developer Orsted with a view to selling a 50% stake in two offshore wind farm projects in the Baltic Sea with a total capacity of up to 2.5GW.

The lots being considered for partial sale are the 1GW Elektrownia Wiatrowa Baltica 3, which is due to be developed by 2026, and the 1.5GW Baltica 2, to be brought online in 2030.

And German utility RWE announced last week that it had acquired up to four offshore wind projects in Poland with a total generation capacity of more than 1.5 GW. They are all located around the Slupsk bank area in the central Polish Baltic Sea, and the construction phase might start as early as 2023.

At present, Poland generates 80% of its power from black and brown coal, but its draft National Energy Policy until 2040 sets out plans to cut that to 60% by 2030. This will be achieved by improving energy efficiency and generating 21% of its electricity from renewable sources. The strategy is to bring photovoltaics into the mix from 2022 and offshore wind power after 2025.

The ability of PGE and its partners to meet that 2025 deadline depends in part on the passing of enabling legislation. The government has indicated that it may set the legislative process in operation with a public consultation in November.

According to Pachecki, Poland’s offshore sector has the potential to supply 25% of the country’s energy by 2040.

The country also plans to complete its first nuclear power plant by 2033.

Image: A Baltic wind farm operated by Energie Baden-Württemberg (EnBW)

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