Alerts Energy GAS Infrastructure / Innovations Renewables 22 November, 2023 7:25 am   

Brussels green lights billions for Poland to drop dependence on Russia

European Commission. Picture by Flickr European Commission. Picture by Flickr

The European Commission has approved Poland’s EUR 59.8 billion National Recovery Plan, which includes a chapter on REPowerEU energy, aimed at abandoning dependence on Russia.

The Polish chapter of the EU REPowerEU programme involves a number of changes. “The reforms include measures to improve the authorisation procedures for renewable energy sources, remove barriers to connecting renewable energy sources to the grid and promote green skills. The new investments are aimed at supporting the energy transition, including power transmission and distribution networks and offshore wind farms,” the European Commission said.

“In addition, the plan provides for support for energy efficiency in the residential sector and an accelerated phase – out of fossil fuels used for heating homes, support for the development of skills needed for the green transition, as well as facilitating the development of local energy communities and promoting sustainable mobility,” the Commission said in a statement.

“New investments include the development of electricity distribution networks in rural areas, support for the construction and upgrading of energy storage systems, the creation of a fund to support the construction of offshore wind farms, as well as the creation of a fund to support a wider range of investments in the field of energy transition. Aid will also be granted for the development of infrastructure necessary to meet the most urgent needs related to the security of gas supply,” the EC says.

“The Council will now, in principle, have four weeks to approve the assessment presented by the Commission. Approval by the Council will allow Poland to receive advance payments of EUR 5.1 billion from REPowerEU funds,” explains the European Commission.

“The Commission will approve further regular pay outs on the basis of satisfactory achievement of three ‘overarching milestones’ on important aspects of the independence of the Polish judiciary and the use of Arachne, an IT tool that supports member states in the fight against fraud, and on the basis of satisfactory achievement of other milestones and targets set out in the revised Polish reform,” the statement continues.

The REPowerEU Program, introduced after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, was originally intended to abandon the European Union’s dependence on Russia and drop its raw materials by 2027. Now the Commission’s communication suggests a date “much earlier than 2030”. Poland no longer imports coal, gas and oil from Russia, but gets half of its LPG supply from that direction.

European Commission / Wojciech Jakóbik