Offshore Wind to Become Significant Part of Poland’s Energy Mix
Polish Minister of Transport, Construction and Maritime Economy, Slawomir Nowak, was speaking about the country’s plans for offshore wind development at the 7th Energy Forum in Sopot.
“Plans of coastal countries are impressive and offshore wind power is likely to become a significant part of the energy mix in coming years,” said Sławomir Nowak, Minister of Transport, Construction and Maritime Economy. Referring to the situation in Poland, minister Nowak stated that his ministry had already prepared a plan for building offshore wind farms and in this situation Poland was nearly ready for development of offshore wind energy.
Minister Nowak reported that Poland had the best conditions for construction of offshore wind farms among Baltic countries. “A large interest in obtaining permissions for investment should be attributed exactly to this fact. This year the Ministry of Maritime Economy received 60 applications for erection of wind farms, we have issued already 14 permissions and five investors paid already the amount of 0.1% of the entire investment for their permissions,” said Nowak.
Minister Nowak pointed that permission from the Ministry of Water Management was only a beginning. The investor interested in construction of a wind farm must receive acceptance from ministry of environment, and at the same time submit application to Polish electric grid operator for access to the system. Next step are public consultations, to which minister attached considerable importance in view of the concerns of Pomeranian society about the impact of offshore farms on tourism or fishery. After consultations, a building permit should be obtained. Minister Nowak assured that amendments introduced by his ministry to construction law were expected to make the process of obtaining such permits easier.
The head of construction ministry convinced that in Polish realities offshore wind power sector was likely to become a more effective source of energy than onshore wind farms. “Wind farms situated behind the horizon are anticipated to be a serious impulse for economic growth in respect of new workplaces,” emphasized Nowak. He added that especially considering that it was a completely new economic domain, Polish shipyards had already built ships that could handle wind farms, being in the same time ready to build wind farms structures.
According to the opinion of minister Nowak, the Renewable Energy Law, which is scheduled to be adopted by the end of 2013, is expected to aid the investment processes related to green energy, while offshore wind power should receive special preferences in that law.
Minister Nowak mentioned also the plans of establishing an “energy hub” in Pomerania, whose components were expected to be nuclear energy, shale gas and offshore wind energy. “Pomerania could become both producer and exporter of energy,” convinced the head of construction ministry.
Press release, December 3, 2012; Image: Economic Forum