The future of European energy is not only about RES

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Natural Power is a leading independent consultancy and service provider working exclusively in the renewable energy sector. The company offers proactive and integrated consultancy, management and due diligence services, backed by an innovative product range, across onshore and offshore wind, solar, storage, renewable heat and infrastructure sectors, whilst maintaining a strong outlook on other new and emerging sectors.

Established in the mid-1990s Natural Power has been at the heart of many ground-breaking projects, products and portfolios for close to three decades, assisting project developers, financiers, manufacturers, research houses and other consulting companies.

With its iconic Scottish headquarters, The Green House, Natural Power has expanded internationally and now employs over 400 renewable energy experts across 12 international offices. Providing planning and environmental, analysis, construction and geotechnical, operations and asset management and due diligence services, Natural Power is uniquely a full life-cycle consultancy – delivering technical advice from feasibility to finance through to operations and repowering.

– We consistently invest in product development and technical research to progress key areas within the industry such as the operational and performance management of renewable assets through our ControlCentre, the design and assessment of wind farms in complex flow and the use of remote sensing for wind measurements – adds Krzysztof Jaworski.

What is Your role in Natural Power?

I am responsible for Natural Power’s growth across Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and the Baltic region. These areas are a key part and integral to our long-term development strategy. We intend to intensify our activities in these markets, above all in Poland. My task is to build a stronger presence in this region, supporting our clients who also see its potential, as well as to engage new partners already active in these markets. We aim to consistently expand the range of services offered in the CEE & Baltics region to develop a rich, diverse portfolio of projects. Considering the challenge posed before the entire European Union in the form of European „Green Deal” and a package of legal acts commonly known as „Fit For 55”, we see great value in supporting the CEE & Baltics region in decarbonising industry and implementing green energy transformation.

Why Central & Eastern Europe, and why with an emphasis on Poland?

It is a natural consequence of our company’s development policy, which, among other things, places particular emphasis on diversification into new geographical markets. We see Poland as a key market setting the pace and becoming a renewable energy hub for the region. The number of finalised investments, as well as those under development or planned, makes the Polish market particularly active and attractive.

Can Natural Power already speak of significant achievements in terms of the Polish market?

Indeed. We supported diverse base of clients during various key investments in Poland, including an offshore wind farm projects with projected power capacity exceeding 800MW. As a case study we can use of the most exciting investments, significant for the whole energy industry in Poland – “Zwartowo” solar farm. Commercial-size PV installation spreading over the area of 300 hectares, currently being built in Zwartowo, Choczewo commune in the Wejherowo district. We acted as a LTA – Lenders Technical Advisor covering both financial and technical aspects of the investment developed by German-based Goldbeck Solar in cooperation with the Polish independent power supplier Re:spect Energy. Handover is planned for this year. When connected to the grid, the solar power plant will generate up to 286 GW of renewable power, making it the largest in Poland and the third largest solar farm in Europe. We cooperated with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), which granted EUR 46 million of financing for the investment. It is undoubtedly a unique project on a Polish and European scale.

Do you see a place for yourself within a polish market as a foreign company? Are you not afraid of competitors already operating in Poland?

It’s not the case that Poland is an entirely new market for us, far from it actually. We have been active in Poland for many years, helping asset owners and investment funds with professional advisory & due diligence services to inform investment and divestment decision making when considering renewable energy assets. We had successfully participated in offshore and onshore wind as well as solar energy projects with a total capacity exceeding 2GW. We know the market; we understand it specifics and how unique it is. We want to combine our international experience and resources with unique knowledge and expertise of local partners and communities to best serve the markets and feel based on our experience to date in CEE and the Baltics, are well place to operate across the region alongside our mainstream competitors as we do in other markets internationally.

Are the law and legislation in Poland conducive to such expansive plans?

Although Poland has grown to be the leader in Eastern Europe’s RES, from a global scale’s perspective it still needs to be considered an emerging market. Therefore, legislation regulating development and implementation of renewable energy sources is still emerging. Poland is just now creating necessary laws and legal infrastructure, trying to adapt to the pace of development driven by the demand for renewable energy sources. We see many positive signals, such as the transfer of the draft amendment to the act on investments in wind farms to the Ministry of Climate and Environment, which in practice may mean acceleration of work on the development of the so-called „10h” rule.

In Your opinion, are renewable energy sources the future of polish energy industry?

Renewable energy sources are characterized by high production fluctuation, depending on many external factors, but also are easier to quickly disconnect in order to balance the power grid. In combination with an advanced and efficiently working energy storage infrastructure, RES is an ideal partner for sources generating less clean, but far more predictable and stable base load, such as nuclear units. A wise diversification that guarantees maximum energy security of the state and a stable, balanced grid is the future of the Polish energy sector, and renewable energy are a crucial part of achieving that. We mustn’t forget that in order to achieve the goals of installed capacity in RES set by the European Union by 2050, we need the fossil fuels as a transitional source, enabling and powering the green energy transformation.

And as Natural Power You aim to be a part of that process?

Natural Power has worked in collaboration with its client base internationally on over 100GW of projects in North America markets, over 140GW in Europe, 7GW in Asia or 7GW in South America. We have the expertise across the industry.

Krzysztof Jaworski, Natural Power’s business development manager was interviewed by Jolanta Czudak.

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