The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development plans to increase its funding for Poland’s renewable energy this year, after the government shifted toward green energy, a senior EBRD official has said.
Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party (PiS), which has in the past seen renewable energy sources as unstable, had introduced laws on wind farms that have made many of them unprofitable. Poland, which generates most of its electricity from coal, had seen relatively few investments in renewable energy and, as a result, risked missing out on the European Union’s green energy targets by 2020.
Last year PiS changed tack and in an attempt to bring Poland back on track to meet EU targets, it removed tax disincentives for wind farms and began a new subsidy system. “We plan to increase the financing of renewable energy projects this year … We are very happy with the change of the government’s stance toward the renewable sources,” Grzegorz Zielinski, EBRD’s regional director told Reuters.
Zielinski said that from 2012 to 2014, the EBRD’s financing of renewable energy projects had amounted to 250 million to 350 million euros a year, and the EBRD may now increase its total financing in Poland to around 650 million euros from 560 million last year.
“We assume that this year we will return to these levels, since in the past three years this financing was practically nil,” Zielinski also said. He added that the EBRD now expects to back new onshore wind farms and photovoltaic projects this year and did not rule out cooperation with Poland’s four biggest and state-run energy groups.
“We see the possibility of cooperation with them on renewables projects, especially on the offshore wind farms, due to their scale,” Zielinski said. “… At the moment, we are not talking about graduation, which is reducing the scale of activity in Poland. We focus on what else needs to be done,” Zielinski said.