With a market potential of >10GW’s and a strong supply chain, Poland is a very attractive market and one Vattenfall knows very well – we would of course be delighted to be invited to work with local stakeholders to support the delivery of these in an effort to generate national benefit – says Colin Brown, Senior Business Development Manager at Vattenfall in an interview for BiznesAlert.pl.
BiznesAlert.pl: Does the coronovirus epidemic affect the construction of offshore wind farm projects in Europe? If yes, how?
Colin Brown: As a company we are a fundamental part of a functioning society where our job is to see to that our customers get electricity, heat and gas. We have updated business continuity plans in place, which means that we have thoroughly developed plans and emergency preparedness for keeping our critical operations up and running. Currently this is working according to plan. Vattenfall is following restrictions and guidelines from the authorities in the different countries where we operate. We have imposed directives for all employees regarding, for example, meetings and travel and there are policies in place for working from home when possible.
Under this extraordinary circumstances we have established a regular process of alignment with our partners and suppliers in order to analyse the potential impact on Vattenfall’s Wind construction projects.”
More and more international companies sign partnership agreements to create potential of offshore wind farms in Poland. Does Vattenfall still intend to cooperate in the development of offshore wind farm projects?
We see a lot of offshore wind growth potential across the whole of Europe and remain committed to support our customers and partners decarbonise their operations. With a market potential of >10GW’s and a strong supply chain, Poland is a very attractive market and one Vattenfall knows very well – we would of course be delighted to be invited to work with local stakeholders to support the delivery of these in an effort to generate national benefit.
At the beginning of the year, a draft act on offshore wind farms in Poland was created. How does Vattenfall assess the bill?
Firstly, I must applaud the Polish leaders for taking such a proactive position with respect to energy generation – it truly is a great sign for the Polish Energy industry, Supply chain, Workforce, consumer, industry and of course the environment – it’s a genuine investment in Poland’s future generations. Every market has its own bespoke regulation and we are used to working within these boundaries. Based on our initial assessment of the act we believe it’s already in a workable status – of course we see areas that could be changed but we recognise it’s a balancing act to make such regulation suit the masses and not just the development community.
During the consultations, Vattenfall made a general demand to change the formula of the auctions carried out as part of the second phase of support. What are the remarks?
“The idea of this suggested change is that all parties will receive the same support level rather than their bid price for each auction. We have tried to take experience from our other markets and feel this would be a fairer solution for the bidding parties. Parties couldn’t tacitly bid too low just to secure the higher support level as the risks of not securing a workable support mechanism are too great for such a large infrastructure project – it simply means everyone is working at a set level for each auction year.”
Vattenfall also suggests that the legislator should also not require a decision on environmental conditions for the infrastructure extracting power from an offshore wind farm. How can this proposal improve the investment process?
The purpose of this recommendation was simply to provide clarity and consistency. We noted that the location permit for the power evacuation infrastructure of the offshore wind farm is not required to participate in the support scheme therefore no environmental decision for the power evacuation infrastructure should be required as well.
Interview by Bartłomiej Sawicki