The grand finale of the Equinor and Polenergia offshore wind energy competition

Almost 120 works on offshore wind energy were created as part of an art competition organized by Equinor and Polenergia. The competition was the culmination of the education campaign
"One sea, many benefits. Offshore wind energy in my region", which was attended by almost 1500 students from six primary schools in the Słupsk region. The final of the competition with prizes took place in the Lądowisko Kultury in Redzikowo near Słupsk.

The project lasted several months and was addressed to pupils of six public primary schools in Ustka, Słupsk, and in the municipalities of Ustka and Redzikowo. Through the area of these municipalities the onshore infrastructure of the Baltic offshore wind farms will run. The school in Łeba also took part in the project, where the operation and maintenance base of Equinor and Polenergia will be built.

We are glad that our next educational project has met with such an enthusiastic reception in the area located in the direct neighborhood of our investments. We would like to thank everyone for their time and commitment. This motivates us even more to undertake further educational initiatives as part of our "Academy of Maritime Competences", in which we have been conducting numerous activities at various levels of education for years, says Marta Porzuczek, Director of the Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development Department at Polenergia Group.

A series of interactive educational activities was designed to familiarize the youngest with offshore wind energy and renewable energy sources, as well as their role in the energy transformation of Polish. During the classes, children and young people learned, among others what green energy is, how it can prevent prevent climate change and strengthen the energy security of our country.

Equinor and Polenergia also presented to students the benefits that will be brought by the Bałtyk offshore wind farms with a total capacity of up to 3 GW. The most important of these is renewable energy for more than 4 million households. 

The artistic competition, which ended the education project, allowed the young people to present their perspectives on the perception of offshore wind energy. It was attended by 130 students who made 119 artworks, including mock-ups of offshore wind farms made of recycled materials and videos presenting the benefits of offshore wind energy for the region.

I am very impressed with the work and knowledge of the students on offshore wind energy. This topic is no longer an unknown land for them. What's more, older students see the growing industry as a benefit for the region and a professional opportunity for themselves. It can be seen that the educational project of Equinor and Polenergia has brought the expected result - higher environmental awareness of the young generation and knowledge on how to prevent climate change – says Jacek Maniszewski, Mayor of Ustka.

The grand finale of the competition, which took place at the Lądowisko Kultury in Redzikowo, was attended by 39 semi-finalists from all schools, as well as school principals, teachers, and parents.
The competition jury, which included the mayors of Łeba and Ustka, representatives of the municipalities of Redzikowo and Ustka, as well as representatives of investors, had a very difficult task ahead of them – to choose the best of 12 artworks, 13 models and 5 films of semi-finalists from different age groups.

The jury's discussions were very intensive and we couldn't decide for a long time, because all the works were excellent. Not only in terms of the means of artistic expression and concept used, but also in terms of substantive preparation and understanding of the subject of renewable energy sources. In the case of film works and mock-ups, we also evaluated the presentations and speeches of their authors. In the end, the selection of the finalists was determined by nuances and the vote of the audience – emphasizes Andrzej Strzechmiński, Mayor of Łeba.

Three places were awarded in each category. Nine finalists were rewarded gift cards to educational stores and a cinema. The 39 semi-finalists received books on environmental issues, and all 130 participants received consolation prizes.   

In the coming years, the growing offshore wind energy industry in Poland will need tens of thousands of qualified specialists, both in the construction and operation of offshore wind farms.

The interest in our educational activities and the enthusiasm and creativity of young people allow us to assume that many of them will join the offshore wind industry soon, which will become an attractive place for them to work and develop professionally. We want to inspire young people to get involved in the development of offshore wind energy and renewable energy sources because they will soon create a more sustainable future for Polish – says Michał Jerzy Kołodziejczyk, President of the Management Board of Equinor in Poland.

The three Bałtyk offshore wind farms developed by Equinor and Polenergia will generate the demand for 10,000 jobs throughout the life cycle of the projects, and the service base in Łeba will start hiring specialists as early as next year. A total of 100 people will work there.

Suppliers of components and services for the offshore wind sector will also need new employees. The Polish Wind Energy Association estimates that 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 employ up to 100,000 qualified people in the coming years. The availability of skilled workers will play a key role in the development of the new industry.  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.

14 Feb 2024

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