The development of offshore wind in Poland and Lithuania is accelerating as the governments of both countries prepare to adopt the regulatory framework for the construction and functioning of the offshore wind farms. The countries plan to use a so-called contract for difference (CfD) scheme, similar to that of Britain to support wind power producers.
The Lithuanian energy ministry has prepared a package of draft laws to regulate offshore wind development in the Baltic Sea with an eye to holding an auction in 2023. The law would create a clear and transparent regulatory environment for the offshore wind development.
Lithuania has already picked a site in the Baltic Sea that could support up to 700 MW of capacity by 2030. The territory planned in the Baltic Sea for the wind turbines covers an area of 137.5km2, with a distance from shore of approximately 29 km, an average water depth of 35 km and an average wind speed of approximately 9 m/s. A wind farm of this capacity in the Baltic Sea is expected to produce approximately 2.5-3 TWh of electricity per year, which is nearly a quarter of Lithuanian’s current electricity demand.
In Poland, the offshore wind potential is estimated up to 11 GW by 2040. According to the proposed offshore wind draft act, up to 5.9 GW will be selected by Poland’s energy regulator by the end of June 2021. In the second phase, Poland will hold auctions for 5 GW of capacity in two tranches of 2.5 GW each in 2025 and 2027, respectively, in order to select bidders offering the lowest price of electricity. The draft law also includes a provision that puts the responsibility for building and financing the connection between offshore wind farms and the onshore grid to investors.