September 5, 2018 Read More →

Coal-heavy Poland looks to expand offshore wind capacity

Deutsche Welle:

Europe’s fourth-biggest greenhouse gas polluter has given a boost to offshore wind power plans in the Baltic Sea. After its pro-coal rhetoric tarnished the Polish government’s good name, Warsaw is looking to green up.

There are about 4,000 offshore wind turbines in EU waters, most in the North Sea, producing 72 percent of the continent’s wind electricity. Turbines in the Irish Sea and the Baltic Sea contribute 16 and 12 percent respectively. But the balance could be about to shift to the Baltic after Poland’s upper house of parliament recently approved the removal of clean-power investment obstacles in a new renewable energy law. And others in the Baltic region are following suit.

The Polish electricity transmission system operator PSE said as much as 8 gigawatts of offshore wind capacity could be installed in Poland, with 4 GW of that operational by 2026/27.

Meanwhile, state-controlled Polish energy group PGE has seemingly, though not officially, abandoned its plans to oversee the country’s first nuclear power station to focus on wind farms in the Baltic Sea. 

By diversifying sources used to generate power and incorporating offshore wind, Poland may be able to reduce the share of coal in its energy mix even below the 60 percent currently expected by the government in 2030, Monika Morawiecka, PGE’s director of strategy, said at the Krynica Economic Forum in southern Poland.

“The costs of green energy technologies are falling all the time,” Morawiecka said. “They start to be competitively priced in relation to such sources as gas or coal. In Poland, the costs of raising capital for such investments are still higher than in the West, but these differences are gradually decreasing.”

More: Poland’s pro-coal government goes green

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