Polish offshore wind threatened by nuclear ambitions

Conflict over public financing of new energy infrastructure

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Polish government support for offshore wind development may be weaker than many developers would like, with the country’s prime minister yesterday suggesting that the technology is too expensive.

Days after the European Commission announced it will take Poland to the European Court of Justice for failing to transpose the EU renewable energy directive into national law, Polish prime minister (PM), Donald Tusk, argued that the Polish energy consumers may not be able to afford to build much offshore wind capacity.

Tusk warned that offshore wind projects will be subject to "merciless verification" regarding costs, because the level of financial support they are eligible to receive is "particularly high". He added: "I know very well where business wants to earn more money at the expense of citizens. The PM explained that his goal is to provide "as cheap electricity for citizens as possible".

The Polish PM supports construction of 6GW of new nuclear capacity and as this is to be financed by Polish electricity consumers, the PM does not believe it is possible for consumers to support renewable energy development as well, explains Krzysztof Prasalek, former president of the Polish Wind Energy Association, speaking to Windpower Offshore.

Poland’s national renewable energy action plan foresees 500MW of offshore capacity by 2020. Recently-awarded concessions indicate that developers are preparing plans for 6-8GW in the Polish Baltic Sea.

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