Offshore wind energy development plans in Poland
The government’s energy programme aims to build offshore wind farms in the Baltic Sea with a total capacity of more than 15 giga-watts in two development phases by 2040. Seven wind farm projects in the first development phase had already gone through the approval process last year. The first electricity will flow from the offshore wind farms with a total capacity of 5.9 GW from 2026 at the earliest. In the second development phase, the installation of a further 9 to 11 GW has been planned. National and international applicants had submitted 132 applications for the 11 sites in the Baltic Sea that were put out to public bid. They had been waiting for a decision since the beginning of last year. The infrastructure ministry kept its word and announced the first decisions at the beginning of the year. However, the first decision on the second stage development competition procedure turned out to be a fiasco. The ministry announced that none of the potential investors had been granted a construction permit for the projected wind farm site called 53.E.1. The Polish energy company PKN Orlen, as well as Shell, the German RWE Group, the French EDP and the Norwegian company Equinor, had applied for the wind farm site. Potentially, a wind farm with a capacity of 1 to 1.5 GW was to be built at the site. None of the applicants had reached the qualification minimum.
Taking into account the applicable regulations, it is not possible to establish a credible timetable for the execution of the project that would get a permit in 2022 or 2023, Deputy Minister Marek Gróbarczyk said in a ministry statement. However, according to the current legislation, the investor is obliged to complete the wind farm project within ten years from the date of obtaining the site permit.
However, the projected wind farm site 53.E.1 is subject to restrictions because this area is used for manoeuvres by submarines of the NATO forces. It is located close to the maritime border of Sweden. Not far from it are also the leaks in the Nordstream 1 and 2 natural gas pipelines that occurred as a result of the explosion attacks in the autumn. An offshore wind farm can only be built in the terrain after 2040. The ban on use already existed in the past. Despite this, the ministry has not removed the site from its tender documents. For international companies, which are used to dealing differently with potential investors for such projects, this is outrageous behaviour.
Source: Wirtschafts-Markt Polen (01-2023 Issue 322)
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