Wind turbines instead of lignite power plants
How SGRE is helping to shape the energy transition in Poland
Hamburg / 13 July 2020
Nine projects with a total of 368 MW of newly installed capacity, most recently expanded through a 30 MW project near the city of Ujazd. Siemens Gamesa's current project pipeline in Poland illustrates how dynamically wind energy is developing in the EU's sixth largest country. Two auctions in 2018-19 for a total of 3.5 GW have set the course for more electricity coming from wind. But the country's CO2 balance remains challenging.
"Around 70 percent of electricity is currently generated from hard coal and lignite in Poland. Many power plants also need to be modernized. There is a need for action. The expansion of wind and solar power is therefore very important," explains Marcas Breatnach, Head of Onshore Sales Eastern Europe at Siemens Gamesa. Once completed, the electricity generated by the Siemens Gamesa wind turbines in all nine projects under development will cover the electricity consumption of nearly 580,000 households.
"Our projects from the first tendering round are now in the installation phase. The share of wind in the electricity supply is starting to increase slowly now," explains Breatnach. With nine projects already and 368 MW capacity, a significant share of this new capacity will be accounted for by turbines from Siemens Gamesa.
But the current dynamics in the wind market threaten to be of limited duration. This is due to comparatively strict regulations regarding the distance between turbines and surrounding housing or protected areas, based on the total height (tip height) of the turbine. The country, which has a total land area of around 313,000 km2, has great potential, especially for renewable energies.
However, wind energy does not only provide positive impulses for the country by generating electricity. Poland has also long since developed into an important industrial partner for the wind industry. Numerous suppliers are based in Poland or manufacture components for wind turbines in the country. Siemens Gamesa also counts on technology made in Poland for its plants. In 2019 alone, the volume of components and services purchased totaled around €330 million.
And Siemens Gamesa itself has also developed into an important company in the Polish energy market. The team has installed around 1.1 GW of capacity since its launch in 2003. In the meantime, the team has grown to more than 200 employees in several offices and service locations throughout the country. More than 500 turbines in 55 wind parks are maintained and kept running by Siemens Gamesa.
With new installations, the number of turbines to be maintained also increases. And the prospects for further projects beyond the nine wind farms currently on the books are good. "The close cooperation with our customers and partners over the past few years is now paying off," says Pawel Przybylski.
"Very different companies are active on the Polish market. In addition to large international and domestic energy supply companies, independent project developers are also active. With our team, we have succeeded in covering the different requirements of individual customers well. We are therefore very confident about the future and want to actively shape the change towards a sustainable energy supply."
Total land area: 313.000 km2
Per capita electricity consumption: 4.57 megawatt hours (2018)
Total installed capacity (all energy sources): 47.4 GW
Installed onshore wind: 5.9 GW
Installed capacity SGRE: 1.5 GW