The European Commission said on Wednesday it is granting 1.43 billion euro ($1.53 billion) to Romania and Croatia to help modernise their energy systems, cut greenhouse gas emissions and support them in meeting their 2030 climate and energy targets.
Romania will receive 1.39 billion euro from the Commission's Modernisation Fund for the construction of 8 photovoltaic parks and two combined cycle gas turbine plants, the Commission said in a press release.
The plants will replace lignite with renewables and gas for power generation and modernisation of electricity networks in Romania, it added.
Some 40 million euro will be granted to Croatia for the production of electricity from renewable energy sources.
"With revenues from the emissions trading system it delivers concrete results on the ground, helping beneficiary countries reduce greenhouse gas emissions in key sectors and become climate neutral," European Commission Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans said.
"Moreover, this major financial injection is available to launch projects that will help speed up our energy transition in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine."
Besides Romania and Croatia, member states Czechia, Poland, Lithuania, Slovakia and Hungary will receive 1 billion euro for similar investments.
Thus, the EC is granting a total 2.4 billion euro to support 45 investment proposals in the areas of electricity generation from renewable sources, modernisation of energy networks and energy efficiency in the energy sector, industry, buildings, as well as in transport, and the replacement of coal generation with lower carbon intensity fuel.
Funded by revenues from the auction of emission allowances from the EU's Emissions Trading System, the Modernisation Fund aims to support ten EU countries with lower income in their transition to climate neutrality by modernising their power sector and wider energy systems, boosting energy efficiency, and facilitating a just transition. The beneficiary countries are Bulgaria, Croatia, Czechia, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia.
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