A draft law promoting electricity generation from offshore windfarms in the Baltic has been submitted for consultation by the Polish Government. The consultation period will last 30 days. The legislation includes a dedicated support scheme for offshore wind in the country
The proposed legislation allows for the development of up to 4.6 GW of offshore wind from pre-developed projects, of which there are a number, by the end of 2022. A contract for difference (CfD) framework similar to that used in other countries, such as the UK, will be implemented with a price set by the government.
The legislation proposes a two-phase support system designed to accelerate investment in offshore windfarms in the Polish exclusive economic zone. In the first phase, for the period 2020-2022, contracts will be granted only to projects at the most advanced stage of investment process that already have a grid connection and meet a number of other criteria. Contracts for these initial projects will be awarded in the form of an administrative decision by the Polish government.
Around 5 GW more offshore wind capacity, possible more, is expected to be awarded later in the decade with auctions planned in 2023, 2025 and 2027 and, potentially, in 2028.
In a statement, the Polish Government said, “Implementation of offshore windfarm projects is an opportunity for the Polish economy. Windfarms built in the Baltic can be a flywheel for the Polish economy and will contribute to its transformation towards lower carbon emissions.”
The ministry’s intention is to create a legal framework that will support entities interested in developing the offshore wind energy sector “over many years,” including companies responsible for supplying components for constructing offshore windfarms.
Local content is an important element of the Polish Government’s requirement for developing offshore wind energy, but the legislation did not stipulate a level projects would have to achieve.
Speaking exclusively to OWJ, Forum Energii head of renewables Marcin Ścigan said the government’s announcement was important because it would provide much-needed predictability for investors and developers.
Mr Ścigan said he expected the CfD framework introduced by the government would include the cost of connecting Polish offshore windfarms to the grid. Developers will probably prefer to take responsibility for the building the grid connection anyway, he said, although it was possible that having done so they could sell them to a transmission system operator, once completed.
Mr Ścigan said the commitment to 4.6 GW in the initial round of awards was higher than he had expected, given that only around 2.5 GW of projects, those planned by Polish companies PGE and Polenergia, seem to be sufficiently developed as of now.
The auction planned for 2023 will be used to add more capacity if the contracts awarded by the government in 2022 do not meet the 4.6 GW target.