The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is supporting the expansion of Estonian energy company Enefit Green in Poland, as it will drive forward the development of solar energy in a market still dominated by carbon fuel.
“While the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis rightly take priority in our hearts and minds, reliable power generation remains as important as ever,” commented Aavo Kärmas, CEO of Enefit Green. “Enefit Green aspires to grow our renewable power generation capacity in all our home markets, with an entry to Poland in 2019 serving as an important landmark. We are proud to sign the first loan agreement with the EBRD and look forward to further cooperation in the future.”
The nine million euros loan to Enefit will provide long-term financing for a portfolio up to 19.2 megawatts (MW) of newly completed small solar projects in Poland.
The investment will help to expand the Polish solar energy sector, which currently lags behind the country’s wind sector. However, it is expected to become a key contributor to the decarbonisation of the country’s energy industry, as solar power plants are expected to reduce air pollution by cutting annual CO2 emissions by approximately 15,000 tonnes.
“The world is rightfully focused on the massive health and economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” added Harry Boyd-Carpenter, Director and Head of Energy EMEA for the EBRD. “But climate change remains a fundamental challenge, especially in Poland with its historic reliance on coal for most of its electricity. Alongside its Solidarity Package in response to the coronavirus crisis, the EBRD will also continue to work to sustain the momentum of the long-term green transition, supporting strong developers such as Enefit Green.”
The installed renewable capacity in Poland has increased significantly over the past decade, but the country remains dependent on coal for almost 80 per cent of its electricity generation. All EU member countries are committed to source at least 32 per cent of their final energy consumption from renewable sources by 2030.