Shaping Polish Offshore Wind

Insights from PSEW 2024 from Tomasz Kwiatkowski, OWC Poland

The PSEW 2024 Conference which was held between the 4th-6th June in the picturesque coastal town of Świnoujście, brought together the leading minds of the wind energy sector from across Poland and Europe.

Among the attendees was Tomasz Kwiatkowski, our Country Manager for Poland at OWC, whose insights and expertise continue to shed light on the wind industry in that region.

This year’s conference highlighted the immense potential of onshore and offshore wind in Poland, in addition to the considerable challenges facing the sector.

Q&A with Tomasz on Key Takeaways from PSEW 2024

Q: What are your thoughts on the current state and future potential of the renewable energy sector in Poland?

A: Tomasz: The renewable energy sector, particularly onshore and offshore wind, holds significant potential for rapid growth. However, this growth is tempered by regulatory, technical, economic, and social hurdles. We need a planned, thought-through approach with collaborative efforts to manage these challenges in both the short and long term. Significant investment in infrastructure, like grid and hydrogen pipelines, and innovations in storage solutions, such as Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS), are essential to transform our existing power generation and transmission systems into sustainable, renewable energy solutions for the future.

Q: What does the imminent construction of the first offshore installation mean for Poland’s energy transition?

A: Tomasz: The commencement of construction for Poland’s first offshore installation next year is a major milestone. It marks a crucial step in Poland’s energy transition and sets the stage for future projects. At OWC, we are actively supporting these efforts in very specific, specialist areas that are crucial to the success of these projects.

Q: How do you view the delays in Wave I offshore wind projects?

A: Tomasz: Despite the overall optimism, there are concerns about delays in some Wave I offshore wind projects, now projected to extend towards or even beyond 2030. Addressing these delays, which are often related to supply chain issues, increasing project costs, and financing constraints, is critical to maintaining the momentum of offshore wind development in Poland.

Q: What is the outlook for the 2025 offshore wind auction in Poland?

A: Tomasz: Orlen and PGE, the beneficiaries of the Wave II offshore wind location license awards, recognize the strategic advantages of partnerships. While details on the timing and structure of these partnerships are still pending, the positive signal this sends to international investors is crucial. It indicates a collaborative future for offshore wind development in Poland.

Q: What is the current level of interest from international investors in the Polish offshore wind market?

A: Tomasz: Despite a few withdrawals, international investors and developers continue to show strong interest in the Polish offshore wind market. Conversations with these players highlight the importance of understanding the process, its timing, and key requirements to shape the most attractive offers for win-win deals.

PSEW 2024 Conference panel discussion.

Q: What are the main challenges for Wave II offshore wind project development?

A: Tomasz: A critical challenge for Wave II project development is the availability of experienced personnel. While permitting and grid issues are important, building a skilled workforce is essential for timely project initiation and execution according to a well-thought-out plan.

Q: Can you elaborate on the debate over onshore wind regulations?

A: Tomasz: The conference saw mixed opinions on the 500 m vs 700 m rule for onshore wind, particularly concerning grid availability and emergency shutdowns due to generation overcapacity. As there may not be a perfect solution to satisfy all stakeholders, I advocate a step-by-step approach. This should include a review of already issued grid connection conditions for projects not being realized but blocking capacity, backed by innovative solutions like cable pooling, direct line connections, and BESS to maximize existing potential before further grid investment.

Q: What is the current state of green hydrogen development in Poland?

A: Tomasz: Despite the RED III directive, which aims for a 42.5% share of renewable energy in the EU by 2030, green hydrogen from onshore and offshore wind in Poland remains largely a topic of discussion rather than concrete development, with a few exceptions. More focused efforts and strategic planning are needed to transition from dialogue to action, especially considering large-scale developments in Europe like TotalEnergies and Air Products’ agreement for green hydrogen supply starting in 2030.

Q: How do you see Poland’s offshore wind market evolving by 2030?

A: Tomasz: By 2030, Poland is expected to be a leading offshore market in Europe in terms of new installations and capital expenditure, following Germany, the UK, and possibly the Netherlands. This trajectory positions Poland favourably compared to countries like France and Denmark, highlighting our robust growth potential.

OWC’s Role in Defining the Future

As an active participant in Wave I offshore wind projects and with unprecedented expertise in Wave II initiatives, OWC is uniquely positioned to support investors and developers in navigating the complexities of the Polish offshore market. Tomasz’s insights from PSEW 2024 reinforce our commitment to driving innovation and excellence in the sector.

We look forward to continuing our collaboration with key stakeholders, leveraging our extensive experience to overcome challenges and capitalise on future opportunities. The PSEW 2024 Conference has reaffirmed our belief in the transformative potential of offshore wind energy and our role in its realisation.

Connect with Tomasz

For more information on OWC’s activities in Poland and how we can assist with your offshore wind projects, feel free to reach out to Tomasz directly. As a specialist in the Polish region, Tomasz is well-equipped to provide valuable insights and support tailored to your needs. Connect with him via LinkedIn or email to explore how OWC can help you navigate the evolving landscape of renewable energy in Poland.

Thank you, PSEW, for hosting such an insightful and impactful conference. We are excited about the future and ready to contribute to Poland’s renewable energy revolution.