EIB to finance modernisation of distribution networks in Poland and Czech Republic

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Polish state-owned utility aims to add 3GW of solar PV capacity by the end of the decade. Image: ReneSola Power.

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has signed separate agreements with Polish state-owned utility PGE Polska Grupa Energetyczna (PGE) and Czech energy utility company ČEZ to help modernise the distribution networks of both countries.

With a PLN2 billion (US$449 million) financing agreement, the EIB will support PGE’s development and modernisation of Poland’s distribution network infrastructure and its integration with renewable energy sources.

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The funds will be used for investments in lines, transformers, digital communication, energy storage and modern metering to take place from 2022 to 2025. On top of that, the Polish state-owned utility expects to add 3GW of solar PV capacity by 2030.

Teresa Czerwińska, vice-president at the EIB, said: “Modern transmission networks will enable the integration of renewable energy sources, which will strengthen the diversification of the energy sector in Poland.”

Furthermore, the EIB has loaned the Czech utility ČEZ €790 million (US$832 million) that will fund the expansion of the distribution network – which includes the installation of automation technology and remotely controlled energy supply systems – in the Czech Republic that will enable the integration of up to 2.2GW of new renewable capacity.

The Czech utility will also make upgrades to increase reliability of the electricity supply in nine regions of the Czech Republic. 

Martin Novák, chief financial officer at ČEZ, said: “The number of renewables we have built for our customers has tripled year-on-year in 2022, and the number of applications for new connections of renewables that will be built in the near future has reached 80,000 to date. ČEZ is committed to upgrading the distribution network significantly, and our partnership with the EIB is one of the cornerstones of this effort.”

Both loans are in line with the European Commission’s REPowerEU plan to reduce Europe’s reliance from fossil fuels before 2030 and accelerate the energy transformation of the EU bloc and move the energy sector towards renewable energy.

In support of the REPowerEU scheme, last month the EIB committed to loan and finance €30 billion in the acceleration of Europe’s energy transition and security over the next five years.

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