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Chinese Investment in Eastern Europe’s Clean Energy

China’s state media People’s Daily reported the official launch of a 100 MW solar power plant in Kaposvár, Hungary last week. The project, built by China National Machinery Import and Export Corporation (CMC), is expected to generate 130 million kilowatts of electricity per year, saving 45,000 tons of standard coal and reducing 120,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions after it is connected to the grid.

The Kaposvár plant is the largest solar power plant in Hungary in terms of installed capacity. The paper quoted the Hungarian Minister of Innovation and Technology, Laszlo Palkovics, “The ‘Belt & Road Initiative’ is highly compatible with Hungary’s policy of ‘opening up to the east.’ The Kaposvár solar power plant is a key project of cooperation between Hungary and China in the field of clean energy.”

The paper continued, “Due to the high proportion of coal in the energy structure, Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries are generally facing the challenge of energy transition. … CEE countries have set their own emission reduction targets and energy transition tasks and are vigorously investing in hydrogen, nuclear, solar, wind and other clean energy. Many Chinese enterprises have actively participated in the energy transition of CEE countries. Many Chinese manufacturers of new energy vehicles, lithium battery and parts have set up factories in CEE countries. A large number of green, low-carbon, eco-friendly and popular clean energy projects have been steadily promoted. Projects such as the Mozura wind farm in Montenegro, the combined cycle power plant in Pančevo, Serbia, and the hydropower plant in Dabar, Bosnia and Herzegovina have completed or started construction, bringing huge economic and environmental benefits to the local communities.”

The report also mentioned the solar power plant in Poland. The China-Central and Eastern Europe Investment Cooperation Fund invested in it and acquired it. In February, the plant’s first batch of four projects were officially completed and connected to the grid after one year of construction. Poland’s Minister of Climate and Environment Michał Kurtyka said, “By 2040, half of Poland’s installed power generation capacity should have zero-emissions. We very much hope that Chinese companies actively participate in the development of Poland’s clean energy industry and look for mutually beneficial and win-win cooperation opportunities.”

Source: People’s Daily, June 3, 2021