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The Warsaw Voice » Business » April 2, 2008
SPECIAL SECTION - POLISH POWER
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Reaping the Wind
April 2, 2008   
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Bogdan Gutkowski, Chairman of the Polish Wind Energy Society in Gdańsk:

The environmental policy of the European Union is gaining momentum through the consistent implementation of one of its most ambitious goals, which is to support the development of new renewable energy sources. These activities serve both to make sure that renewables account for 20 percent of the EU's energy balance by 2020 and to ensure environmental protection.

The European Parliament has acknowledged that EU countries stand a chance to develop a maritime policy based on a reasonable combination of protection of the marine environment and a rational use of seas and oceans. This was demonstrated in the adoption by the European Parliament, in July 2007, of a resolution on the future of the EU's maritime policy.

The growing number of newly developed off-shore wind farms, especially on the North Sea, shows that some countries have already understood that marine wind is a viable alternative and a significant source of energy. This is because the sea offers huge energy potential that can be tapped across a large area while ensuring greater productivity and equipment capacity than in the case of on-shore wind energy. Preliminary estimates show that, in the Polish Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) on the Baltic, it is possible to create up to 20 fields for off-shore wind farms, with a total area of approximately 2,000 square kilometers. This is equivalent to wind power plants producing 8,000 MW, with a productivity of up to 32 TWh annually. In the future, Poland's demand for electrical energy generated from renewable sources will be approximately 25 TWh a year. The target for Poland is to make sure that 15 percent of its energy comes from renewables by 2020. This shows just how huge the potential and energy resources we have at our disposal at sea.

I am convinced that in 10-15 years our approach to the production and the transmission of electrical energy will be completely different. Energy will be more ecological, with lower emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases. A large part of the energy will be produced at sea, and its transmission from the sea to the shore and cross-border transmission throughout Europe will become the norm, because continental and underwater power grids will be global in character.

This is a vision that many experts share today.
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