EBRD bank plans to invest EUR 650 mln in Poland

Photo: Hannelore Foerster/Getty Images

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) plans to invest up to EUR 650 million in Poland in 2018, the bank’s director for Poland Grzegorz Zieliński told Polish news agency PAP.

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Mr Zieliński said the amount of investment in 2019 will be even more, adding “if the financing of renewable sources of energy rebounds”.

“We see a big, very positive change in the approach to renewable energy sources,” he said.

Poland’s goal to reduce coal to 50 percent of its energy mix by 2050 would require investments of EUR 70 billion, Polish Energy Minister Krzysztof Tchórzewski told Reuters on Monday.

Coal accounts for around 80 percent of electricity production in Poland and its aim is to boost the share of renewables to 15 percent in 2020 from 12 percent now.

Poland has around 6.4 gigawatt of installed onshore wind capacity, but the government is looking to harness the wind off its Baltic Sea coast.

“We hope this change will enable us to get re-involved in active financing of new renewable capacities in Poland … such as large wind projects, as well as solar projects,” said Mr Zieliński.

Mr Zieliński said EBRD aims to finance offshore wind farms with more than EUR 100 million next year.

Set up in 1991 to invest in the ex-communist economies of eastern Europe and owned mainly by western governments, the EBRD has been rapidly expanding over the last decade to operate in more than 30 countries from Morocco to Mongolia.

The support for the Polish capital market is one of the three pillars of the bank's strategy for Poland for 2018-2023, which was adopted in April.

The EBRD has invested EUR 8.6 bn in Poland, mostly in the private sector, since the early 1990s.