The key barrier to opting for off-shore wind farms used to be the price. Now, off-shore is becoming cost-competitive so investment decisions may be taken but it needs legal certainty – said the CEO of PGE Baltica Monika Morawiecka during the panel on “Off-shore wind power in Poland and in the world” at the 2019 Economic Forum in Krynica.
According to Monika Morawiecka, the off-shore wind power, much like the on-shore, is the least expensive renewable energy source. It is not consuming fossil fuels nor creating dependence on imports. “Another aspect is environment protection. This source is also becoming economically viable, so the main argument against the off-shore that used to be its price is now history. The question now is not whether but how” – she stressed.
She added that, however, the challenges are numerous, for instance regulatory, technological and systemic. “It is about the energy policy blueprint that will become an enforceable document. We need certainty that the legislation will keep up with our actions. We, as companies, are already now conducting environmental, geological or wind conditions studies; this takes time and money. We also need a zoning plan for the maritime territory” – she said.
The second challenge is technology. “This is the challenge of building above the Polish sea the installations that are 250 metres high and 10 metres in diameter. This is not easy, it requires a seaport infrastructure” – she added. The systemic challenges are feeding the off-shore energy to the grid. “How to take-off this energy and how to balance the grid when there is no wind, even though at sea such periods are rare? The answer is peaking pumped hydropower stations, energy stores, power-to-gas technology, hydrogen or cross-border exchange. This challenge is ‘manageable’ but will not just happen by itself” – she stressed.