Polish offshore plans suffer shale gas setback

POLAND: Poland's offshore wind sector has been dealt a major blow by the country's Ministry of Environment, which is opposing most of 40 proposed offshore development locations because they could interfere with future shale gas extraction

For almost a year, Poland’s Ministry of Infrastructure has been reviewing applications from 59 investors, which are competing for 40 offshore sites in Polish waters of the Baltic Sea. In theory, the country plans to facilitate the development of up to 20GW of offshore wind capacity.

But developers’ plans are now under threat because most of the area in question is rich in shale gas and aggregates reserves and therefore should be excluded from offshore wind activity, according to the Ministry of Environment.

The problem is a deeply serious one, according to Bogdan Gutkowski, president the Polish Offshore Wind Energy Society. "Currently, we are considering what steps to take to solve it," he said.

Industry experts say only four out of 40 licences for offshore wind farms are likely to be approved by the Ministry of Infrastructure, which has taken the opinion of the Ministry of Environment on shale gas and aggregates resources in the area into account.

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