Equinor and Polenergia build and educate together
Almost one and a half thousand children from six primary schools in the Słupsk region take part in the educational project "One sea, many benefits. Offshore wind energy in my region". The organizers - Equinor and Polenergia - have planned interactive classes and an art competition with attractive prizes in schools.
The aim of the project is to educate the youngest about offshore wind energy and renewable energy sources, as well as their role in the energy transformation of Poland. In the form of a competition, its organizers – Equinor and Polenergia – want to familiarize students with the jointly implemented investments in three Baltic offshore wind farms with a total capacity of about 3 GW, which will supply almost 4 million households with renewable energy. During the classes, children and young people will learn, among others what green energy is, and how it can prevent adverse climate change and strengthen the energy security of Poland.
Students of six public primary schools in the municipalities of Ustka and Słupsk have been invited to participate in the project, through which the onshore connection infrastructure of the Bałtyk offshore wind farms will run, as well as the school in Łeba, where a service base will be built.
The emerging offshore wind industry in Poland needs specialists who will work on offshore farms in the Polish part of the Baltic Sea in the future. That is why the education of children and young people is so important to us. We want young people to learn about the benefits of offshore wind energy development. We hope that in the future, many of them will choose our industry for their professional development. We want to inspire young people to get involved in the development of offshore wind energy and renewable energy sources because in the future they will create a more sustainable future for Poland – says Michał Kołodziejczyk, President of Equinor in Poland.
Offshore wind energy will bring numerous benefits to the Polish economy and create new development opportunities, including jobs in both the construction and operation of offshore wind farms. Suppliers of components and services for the offshore wind sector will also need new employees. In the coming years, the entire industry will need tens of thousands of qualified specialists. According to the latest estimates of the Polish Wind Energy Association, with the fully developed energy potential of the Baltic Sea, i.e. the construction of wind farms with a total capacity of 33 GW, the sector will need up to 100,000 qualified specialists in the coming years.
The Bałtyk offshore wind farms will generate demand for 10,000 jobs throughout the life cycle of the projects, and the Łeba base will start hiring specialists as early as next year. A total of 100 people will work there. The availability of qualified employees will play a key role in the development of a new industry in Poland. The urgent need to educate future staff was highlighted by the parties to the Sectoral Agreement signed in 2021. It assumes initiating and undertaking activities for the development of the education and vocational education system, which may determine the success of projects and the pace of Poland's energy transformation based on offshore wind energy.
As part of the "Maritime Competence Academy", one of our Flagship Programmes, we conduct numerous educational activities at all levels of education. We have invited primary schools from the area in the immediate vicinity of our investments to participate in the project that has just begun. Education is the basis of cooperation for Polenergia and a priority goal of our ESG Strategy. Since the beginning of 2022, together with schools, we have been conducting climate education in more than 80 facilities located at Polenergia's projects. These are the activities of "Play green with us!", our original program prepared in cooperation with the Kulczyk Foundation and UNEP/GRID-Warsaw. We are convinced that the new educational project will meet with similar interest from students and teachers says Marta Porzuczek, Director of the Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development Department at Polenergia Group.
As part of the educational project, a series of lectures and interactive classes tailored to individual age groups will be held. The project "One sea, many benefits. Offshore wind energy in my region" will end with an art competition that will allow students to present their own perspectives on offshore wind energy. Children and young people will be invited to create artworks in three different forms adapted to each age group: artworks, mock-ups of offshore wind farms made from recycled raw materials, and videos presenting the benefits of offshore wind energy for the region.