Poland: Environment Ministry Gives Gas Advantage over Wind
The Polish Environment Ministry and the State Geological Institute say that the most of the Baltic Sea area is rich in shale gas and reserves of aggregates. Therefore, it says that the area should be excluded from the offshore wind activity, according to Windpower Monthly.
The Infrastructure Ministry has been reviewing applications from 59 investors that are competing for 40 projects in the area for almost a year. Now, the investors face a serious problem regarding their progress.
“Currently we are considering what steps to take to solve it,” said Bogdan Gutkowski, the president of the Polish Offshore Wind Energy Society.
Two months ago the Environment Ministry said it had no objections to the locations of the proposed offshore wind farms, but the State Geological Institute concluded that the Polish Baltic shelf contains between 14.8 billion to 371 billion cubic metres of shale gas.
The wind industry believes only 4 out of the 40 licences for offshore wind farms have the possibility to be given the green light from the Infrastructure Ministry once it has taken the Environment Ministry’s views into account. These licences are likely to go to PGE, Orlen, which are state controlled, and Kulczyk Investment.
Mikolaj Karpinski, a spokesman for the Infrastructure Ministry, said: “It is possible to designate areas for wind farms where no conflict will occur.”
The actual potential of the Polish Baltic Sea lies between 7.1GW and 17.9GW installed, producing 34.7TWh and 83.3TWh respectively, which depends on the capacity of the turbines used, according to the Polish Maritime Institute.
Offshore WIND staff, May 2, 2012; Image: Alpha Ventus