pomorski park naukowo- technologiczny gdynia
Aleja Zwycięstwa 96/98
Offshore wind turbines in the Baltic Sea have a chance to play a key role in Poland's energy transformation, contribute to the country's energy security and help in the decarbonisation process.
Offshore wind farms are to be the main driving force behind the development of green energy in Poland over the next two decades. The draft national energy policy assumes that in 10 years' time the share of renewable energy sources (RES) in the country's energy mix should reach 32%, and in 2040 already 40%. Wind and solar power plants are to be mainly responsible for this increase. Between 2021 and 2040, about PLN 470 billion (about EUR 100 billion) will have to be spent on transformation of the Polish energy sector. Only PLN 175 billion (approx. EUR 40 billion) is to be spent on investments in renewable energy sources, of which the largest amount, PLN 106 billion (EUR 23.5 billion), is to be spent on the development of wind power plants. Polish ports are interested in participating in this venture, as centres serving the entire installation process of Polish wind farms on the Baltic Sea. The role of the installation hub is to be assumed by the Port of Gdynia. The letter of intent in this matter was signed on July 1 this year in the Ministry of Climate.
“For a long time now, we have been very active in terms of possibilities of servicing the supply chain related to the construction and future operation of offshore wind farms on the Baltic Sea. We regularly meet with stakeholders from economic circles regarding the project of creating offshore facilities in Gdynia. At the same time, there is also a need for an official initiative of the economic circles and investors, who can inform about potential needs and about the expected activities related to the offshore wind farms planned by potential investors,” declares Adam Meller, President of the Port of Gdynia Authority.
Currently, elements of wind power plants are serviced at the Gdynia container terminals, which are not particularly interested in trading container handling for wind turbines. They cannot give up their main source of income. Therefore, it is necessary to invest in new storage yards located in the vicinity of the quays, which play a key role in the logistics service of several hundred elements at a time. Therefore, the port of Gdynia is planning to prepare a special terminal for handling elements of wind towers.
Apart from large ports, smaller service ports are also important, which will serve to maintain the operating continuity of wind farms at sea. In this case, the distance between the port and the wind farm is important. Taking into account that the designed Polish offshore power plants are to stand opposite to the central coast, Ustka and Władysławowo should be the leaders, but Łeba and Darłowo may also be considered. However, so far, the small ports do not meet the requirements posed by maintenance vessels. Far-reaching investments are therefore necessary, which will significantly improve their parameters.
According to Michał Śmigielski, President of the Maritime Agency Gdynia, one of the leaders in logistics service of wind power plant elements, it would be advisable and profitable to invest in a Polish specialist vessel for wind tower installation. Talks with shipyards on this subject are currently ongoing.
“If the decision was made within the coming months, there would be a chance to complete the project until the farms are installed in the Polish Baltic Sea. We have experience in building such vessels. The Crist Shipyard in Gdynia has already built jack-up type assembly vessels. They are still used today to build wind farms. So we have the knowledge, experience and competence,” M. Śmigielski explains.
Ultimately, marine power plants with a capacity of over 10 GW are to be built on the Polish coast. According to ambitious assumptions, the first farms may start operating in 2025. By 2030, the national energy system would receive about 5 GW of power from offshore wind energy, and double this amount by 2040.
Article developed with Namiary na Morze i Handel magazine
phot. Namiary na Morze i Handel