The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is lending PLN 212 million (€46 million equivalent) for the construction and operation of Poland’s biggest solar photo-voltaic plant at Zwartowo, an important step in strengthening Poland’s energy security and accelerating its move away from coal.
The Zwartowo plant will have a total capacity of up to 285.6 MWp and is expected to lead to carbon dioxide emissions savings of at least 138,000 tonnes per year.
The EBRD financing, in the shape of a senior secured loan and debt service reserve facility, will be part of a larger package co-financed by commercial banks PKO BP SA and Pekao SA.
The project company is Stigma Sp. z o.o, a special purpose vehicle incorporated in Poland and indirectly majority-owned by Solarnet Investment GmbH. Solarnet is the investment arm of Goldbeck Solar Group, an existing client of the EBRD.
Poland currently uses coal, the most polluting fossil fuel, for over 70 per cent of its electricity generation. It faces one of the most significant energy transition challenges of all the EBRD’s countries of operation as it moves to align with the goals of the Paris Agreement on limiting global warming to no more than 1.5C.
Keeping up the momentum of its green energy transition is vital for Poland as European Union ambitions grow. In December 2020, the European Council agreed to increase the bloc-wide emissions reduction target from 40 percent to 55 percent.
An ambitious renewable energy programme supported by policy dialogue with the EBRD allowed Poland to hold its first large-scale renewable energy auctions in late 2018 and achieve 12.2 percent of final energy consumption from renewables by the end of 2019. Despite economic crosswinds in the wake of the global coronavirus pandemic, Poland aims to meet a demanding target of 23 percent by 2030.
The EBRD, a leader in climate finance across three continents, aims to align all its operations with the goals of the Paris Agreement by 2023 and make more than half its investments green by 2025.
The EBRD works extensively in Poland, where it has invested €11.4 billion in 469 projects. Poland is also one of the countries neighbouring Ukraine that will be eligible for the €2 billion War on Ukraine resilience package endorsed by the EBRD’s Board of Directors on 9 March.