An expansion of Estonian energy company Enefit Green into Poland, with support from the EBRD, is helping drive forward the development of solar energy in a market still dominated by carbon fuel.
A PLN 40 million (€9 million equivalent) loan from the EBRD to Enefit will provide long-term financing for portfolio of up to 19.2 MW of newly completed small solar projects in Poland.
The EBRD loan will help to expand the Polish solar energy sector, which currently lags behind the country’s wind sector but is expected to become a key contributor to the decarbonisation of the country’s energy industry.
The solar power plants are expected to reduce air pollution by cutting annual CO2 emissions by approximately 15,000 tonnes.
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.
Harry Boyd-Carpenter, Director, Head of Energy EMEA for the EBRD said: “The world is rightfully focused on the massive health and economic crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. 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.”
Aavo Kärmas, CEO of Enefit Green said: “While the Covid-19 pandemic and economic crisis rightly take priority in our hearts and minds, reliable power generation remains as important as ever. 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.”
Enefit Green is wholly owned by Eesti Energia, which started its operations in the renewables sector in 2002 and established Enefit Green in 2016 as its dedicated renewables subsidiary. Enefit Green has been growing rapidly and is now a leading renewables player in the Baltic countries with 447 MW of installed electrical capacity and 83 MW of thermal capacity.
The EBRD has been investing in Poland and Estonia since 1991 and has invested almost €10.1 billion in over 425 investments and €710 million in over 89 investments in Poland and Estonia, respectively.