On 10 July the Polish Electricity Association (PKEE) held its annual Summer Day event, with a focus on offshore wind in the Baltic.
WindEurope CEO Giles Dickson told attendees that Poland couldn’t have picked a better time to ‘join the offshore wind party.’ He said that offshore wind costs have come down rapidly. According to BNEF, offshore wind is now the 2nd cheapest form of new power generation in North West Europe – second only to onshore wind.
Monika Morawiecka, CEO of PGE Baltica, was even more emphatic. Not only is offshore wind now affordable in Poland, she said, but Poland actually “cannot afford not to do offshore wind.” This is because Poland’s rising electricity demand requires investments in new capacity. The expansion of offshore wind will benefit the wider Polish economy too. For example, the copper industry will see a rise in business as it supplies raw materials for the cables connecting Polish wind farms to shore.
WindEurope Chairman and SVP at Vattenfall Gunnar Groebler said Poland is in a great position to learn from the experience of early movers. The success of Polish offshore wind lies in regional cooperation (on regulation and grids) and the Polish government setting up a one-stop-shop for developers.
Pernille Weiss, the Danish MEP newly elected to the Industry, Research and Energy committee, said that moving from black to green was the business case of the globe. “We need to live up to the promise made at COP 21 in Paris.”
Dickson concluded that the top priority for the new Commission on Climate and Energy was electrification of heating, transport and industry. This would mean cheap, local and efficient energy for Europe.