The discussion was an opportunity to address the topic of decarbonisation. Tomasz Wozniak, Head of Offshore Wind Development in Shell, spoke about the prospect of activities related to this area.

– The pace of action and its firmness is of key importance. Everyone – universities, entrepreneurs, and investors – must work towards the same goal, that is, energy transition. What we need is diversification and increased efficiency, i.e. decarbonisation. We must not only develop the technology, but also integrate it safely, stressed Tomasz Wozniak.

He added that Poland has the opportunity to become an important player in offshore wind in the Baltic Sea.

– Shell has 20 years of experience in wind energy and we have highly skilled employees who have proven their ability to manage offshore projects through the entire life cycle, added Tomasz Woźniak.

Ireneusz Zyska, Secretary of State, Government Plenipotentiary for Renewable Energy from the Ministry of Climate and Environment, talked about where Poland stands with regard to wind energy in the Baltic Sea.

– As part of Phase I of offshore wind power projects, investors have already obtained administrative decisions from the president of the Energy Regulatory Authority. We are creating stable conditions for implementation and building a real common understanding, aiming to build a strong new sector of the economy. Analytical work at the expert level is underway to examine all functions of the maritime economy, shipping and fishing in terms of safety and tourism, said Ireneusz Zyska.

In his view, these are the functions that will determine the true potential of offshore wind energy in Poland. – We want to implement this step by step, working very closely with various entities, listening to recommendations, solving problems, and considering various proposals, declared the Government Plenipotentiary for Renewable Sources.

Gustaw Szarek, Partner at McKinsey & Company, spoke about the challenges of offshore in the Polish part of the Baltic Sea. – What we have seen in the last two years, which in fact started with COVID and the disruption of supply chains, is the increase in the price of steel and energy raw materials, which has directly translated into the increase in capital expenditure in the industry, noted Gustaw Szarek.

According to the expert, the increase was about 20–30%. – The price of electricity on wholesale markets has gone up, so if we look from this perspective, the Polish economy and the Polish energy system are in great need of offshore. And not only to provide green energy, but also to guarantee cheaper energy and to fill the shortage that will be created in the Polish system after the coal-fired units are retired due to reaching the end of their service life. The energy mix based on renewable sources is more independent, Szarek said.

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In turn, representative of the British Embassy in Warsaw spoke about the British view of offshore. – The ambition is huge. We have all the facilities of the oil and gas sector. The government already set a very clear goal two years ago, i.e. climate neutrality for the UK by 2050. An important move was to put in place the right regulatory environment. This way, investors know what to expect and on what terms we operate, said Lech Kaczanowski, Country Director, Trade & Investment.

He stressed that the price increase does not change the government’s approach to assumptions, and thus investors trust the authorities on this issue. The final factor highlighted by the embassy representative was the sectoral agreement, which in the UK is based on incentives for local companies and investors to develop offshore competencies.

The debate also included discussion of Poland’s energy security. – We want the energy transition not to be expensive, to be cost-effective, and to ensure energy security and fulfil its function in economic sectors. Offshore is the solution to sovereignty. We are determined to help and take action to ensure a secure energy system that is, in addition, low-carbon, explained Tomasz Woźniak.

Partner relacji: Shell Polska