Shell has taken its first step into Polish offshore wind development, as wholly owned subsidiary Amber Baltic Wind “has submitted proposals for new offshore wind locations in the Polish Baltic Sea zone”.
It is unclear how much capacity Shell hopes to build, what locations it is targeting, or whether Shell plans to enter Poland’s upcoming contracts for difference (CfD) tenders in 2025 or 2027.
The oil major has also signed the Polish offshore wind sector deal, which is intended to develop local content capabilities in the supply chain and operations and maintenance skills for offshore wind.
Shell’s market entry follows announcements by TotalEnergies and KGHM, Ørsted and Ze Pak, Eni and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners, and SSE and Acciona who are aiming to secure seabed leases ahead of government CfD auctions from 2025 and 2027. Once awarded, offshore wind CfDs must be activated within 72 months.
The Polish Wind Energy Association believes the Polish Baltic Sea could host 28GW of offshore wind by 2050.
The country’s current target is 11GW by 2040, in an area representing just a tenth of Poland’s exclusive economic zone.
Shell currently employs 5,000 people in Poland, mainly in its decades-old mobility business, and has named the country as a target for low-carbon businesses including vehicle charging.
It manages 1GW of Polish renewables through its ‘virtual power plant’ company Next Kraftwerke.
Shell’s country chair for Poland, Piotr Kuberka, said “Offshore wind has a chance to become a cornerstone of both the Polish energy transition as well as energy independence.
“It is equally an important part of Shell’s plans for Poland as we look to expand our lower-carbon businesses and help a range of sectors decarbonise. By signing the offshore wind sector deal, we have also committed to working with Polish communities and businesses to bring new high-skilled jobs and help develop local supply chains.”
Shell stated that it has deployed 844MW of offshore wind, and it has 3.5GW under construction and over 16.7GW of potential projects across Europe, Asia and North America.