PGE Polska Grupa Energetyczna’s goal is to have at least 6.5 GW of offshore wind capacity in the Baltic Sea by 2040. The first projects will come online within the next few years. The offshore projects are one of PGE’s key steps towards climate neutrality, and PGE hopes to become a leader in offshore wind in Poland. Here, Wojciech Dąbrowski, PGE’s President of the Management Board, answers questions to explain their strategy, and how it fits into Poland’s and Europe’s ambitious plans. The EC estimates the potential for offshore wind across the Baltic Sea is about 90 GW, of which one-third is located by the Polish coastline. So Poland can be a major player in Europe, and PGE expects its projects will help develop Poland’s own homegrown wind sector.
### REGISTER NOW for the event “Wind of change or a change of wind – the future of the Baltic Sea offshore investments” on Monday 12 September at 15.00-16.30 CEST in Brussels. Taking part are Małgosia Bartosik, Deputy CEO, WindEurope; Wanda Buk, Vice-President for Regulatory Affairs, PGE Polska Grupa Energetyczna; Anca-Iulia Cimpeanu, Deputy Head of Unit, Infrastructure and Regional Cooperation (ENER.C.4); Bruce Douglas, Director Business & Communications, Eurelectric; Jurga Kasputienė, Deputy Permanent Representative of Lithuania to the EU. It will be moderated by Energy Post’s Matthew James. [Promoted by PGE]
Q: In its “Energy Policy until 2040” Poland plans to develop by 2030 wind farms with a total capacity of 5.9 GW. How does PGE’s strategy and the Group’s investment policy fit into these goals?
A: Currently we are focusing on our three Baltic Sea offshore wind farm projects. By 2030, Baltica 2 and Baltica 3 farms will be built – both projects are the part of the Baltica Offshore Wind Farm, with around 2.5 GW of total capacity. This is the joint project of PGE and our Danish partner, Ørsted.
Location and environmental decisions for the offshore part of these two farms have been issued, connection agreements with the transmission grid operator have been signed, and the right for Contract of Difference (CfD) has been granted. The commercial commissioning is planned for 2026 (Baltica 3) and 2027 (Baltica 2), which means that electricity supplies to Polish households will start already in this decade. At the beginning of the 2030s we plan to launch another offshore wind farm, Baltica 1, with a capacity of approximately 1 GW. This project will be implemented independently of Baltica 2 and Baltica 3.
Q: You have mentioned the partnership with Ørsted, which is the global offshore wind powerhouse. What are the prospects of cooperation with domestic suppliers? What opportunities for Polish companies do PGE’s projects in the Baltic bring?
A: We hope for a wide participation of Polish entrepreneurs and we are sure that the development of the offshore wind industry in Poland will have a positive impact on the domestic economy, in particular at the regional level – across Pomerania as a whole. Local businesses will have a chance to get supply orders from the general contractors, and the existing infrastructure in the Polish coast creates opportunities for the development of Polish port and transport logistics.
PGE is one of the signatories of the Sectoral Agreement for the Development of Offshore Wind Energy in Poland. The idea behind the initiative is to increase the share of the local content and to build added value for Polish industry.
Thanks to the “Suppliers Day” formula we are in constant dialogue with suppliers and subcontractors. This April around 800 business representatives joined our online presentation to seek cooperation opportunities. More than 500 of them were from Poland, which is a clear sign of a strong interest from domestic companies. In June we held workshops for suppliers with a special focus on QHSE standards. During the events dedicated to suppliers, we highlight possible areas of cooperation and stress the requirements for our potential subcontractors.
Our efforts bear fruit, and the first domestic contractors have already joined our offshore projects. In August, we chose the contractor for the construction of the offshore component of the Baltica Offshore Wind Farm. It will be a consortium of the Polish branch of Danish Ramboll Group and Gdańsk-based design office ‘Projmors’. We have launched other key tenders as well: in spring we opened the bidding procedure for the general contractor of the onshore section of the Baltica Offshore Wind Farm, and in August we launched the tender for the engineering of its onshore component. We have also signed the contract for Baltica 1 environmental surveys which will be conducted by a consortium of Polish entities.
Q: PGE plans to dispose of its coal assets, switch its CHP plants to natural gas by 2030 and become climate neutral by 2050. What role will investments in offshore wind farms play in achieving these goals? What projects will be implemented after 2030?
A: The offshore wind projects are one of our key steps towards climate neutrality. After their successful implementation PGE will become a leader in the future offshore wind energy sector in Poland. Our goal is to have at least 6.5 GW of offshore capacity in the Baltic Sea by 2040. This May PGE Baltica, the SPV responsible for the implementation of PGE Group’s offshore program, started wind measurement studies for the project. The location decision has already been issued for Baltica 1, and the grid connection agreement has been signed. We will soon launch environmental surveys on the project.
PGE is also interested in areas located in the vicinity of projects that are already under implementation: Baltica 2 and Baltica 3 – in the Słupsk Bank and near the planned Baltica 1 project in the Middle Bank. Apart from that, we are also interested in the locations in the Western Pomerania. At the moment, we are waiting for the approval of our 8 requests for the permit to build wind farms (formally they are called ‘permits for the construction of artificial islands’).
Q: Even before Russia’s energy blackmail, its invasion of Ukraine and the embargo on Russian raw materials, the energy debate in Poland had focused on security and independence from Russia. What is the role of investments in offshore wind farms in this context?
A: Current geopolitical issues, Russian aggression against Ukraine and Russia’s energy blackmail against Europe have shown how urgent it is to strengthen Poland’s energy security and to diversify our energy supplies.
At the same time, due to lower output from the nuclear power plants and droughts affecting both hydropower and conventional power plants, Europe is facing serious challenges. These issues emphasise the significance of renewables, including the wind farms. Renewables are both climate friendly and do not need any fuel to generate electricity. By implementing PGE’s offshore program, we will significantly reduce CO2 emissions – the aim is to achieve 6.5 GW of offshore wind capacity in 2040.This is our tangible contribution to climate protection, which also means that the demand for imported fossil fuels will be lower.
At PGE, we believe that we have a special responsibility to ensure energy security for our customers. Therefore, we need new, own, high-capacity power generation sources – the offshore wind projects fulfills these criteria.
The European Commission estimated the potential for offshore wind energy across the Baltic Sea at about 90 GW, of which one-third is located in Poland. If we manage to seize this opportunity, Poland may become one of the leaders in the offshore wind energy sector. For PGE this is an opportunity for energy transition, a chance for the major shift in Polish economy and the way to ensure energy security.
Wojciech Dąbrowski is President of the Management Board of the PGE Polska Grupa Energetyczna S.A.