Polish decision-makers have long emphasized the issue of the involvement of Polish companies in the development of offshore wind energy in the Baltic Sea. A report has been prepared which shows that the current potential of local content in the supply chain for offshore wind energy is estimated at 20-25 percent for projects that will be developed in the first stage (5.9 GW) and at approximately 45-50 percent in the next decade.
Offshore wind energy sector is one of the main pillars of the Polish energy transformation in Poland. The installed capacity of the wind turbines will reach 5.9 GW until 2030 and 11 GW in 2040. The latest report “Optimization of the development of the domestic offshore wind energy supply chain in Poland” prepared by the Polish Wind Energy Association, the Polish Maritime Wind Energy Society and the Jagiellonian Institute, presented the potential of the Polish industry in the supply chain for the offshore wind farm sector.
Until 2050, approximately 28 GW of offshore wind farms may be installed in Poland, reaching up to 65 percent of the local supply chain’s share in total offshore supplies. The first installation works in Polish maritime areas are to start in 2024. The first connections to the grid are planned for 2026.
Industry representatives indicate that reaching 50 percent of local content is a huge challenge, but real. Poland can achieve this with institutional and regulatory support, properly planned activities and an environment supporting the development of the sector.
The Polish supply chain for offshore wind farms currently includes about 400 companies already operating on the offshore market or able to easily and efficiently enter this market using the experience and resources gained in related industries. Industry representatives indicate that this is an opportunity to develop a new offer, including in the field of steel supporting structures, wind towers, fully equipped offshore transformer stations, as well as in the field of installation, servicing and port services.
One of the key conditions for the optimal use of the potential of the domestic supply chain is the adaptation of Polish ports to service the new branch of the economy. Currently, none of the Polish ports meets the requirements for a potential installation base for offshore wind farms. It is becoming more and more likely to use foreign ports in the process of investing in offshore wind farms. It is worth recalling here that on July 30, 2021, the Council of Ministers adopted a resolution presented by the Ministry of Infrastructure on an installation terminal for offshore wind farms, submitted by the Minister of Infrastructure. The main installation port is to be built in Gdynia. Much earlier, a similar project was presented by the Ministry of Climate and Environment.
Work is underway on the Polish Offshore Wind Sector Deal
On the initiative of the government plenipotentiary for renewable energy, Ireneusz Zyska, representatives of the government of the Republic of Poland and entrepreneurs from the offshore wind energy industry signed on July 1, 2020 “Letter of intent on cooperation in the development of offshore wind energy in Poland”. The aim of this initiative is to undertake joint activities aimed at the development of the offshore market in our country. The result of the cooperation will be the development, signing and finally implementation of the so-called “Polish Offshore Wind Sector Deal” or “Declaration of cooperation for the development of offshore wind energy in Poland” by representatives of the Polish government, investors and entities participating in the supply chain for offshore wind energy. The nature of the declaration will be similar to the British “Sector Deal” for offshore wind energy, however, it will take into account Polish realities and conditions.