The European Commission proposes to amend the state aid guidelines to allow EU countries to subsidize up to 100% of the value of their renewable energy projects. Investments in gas will also be covered by the guidelines, as long as countries can demonstrate that they are serving the EU’s climate goals.
As EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said, while much of the funding is expected to come from the private sector, public support will be needed for a swift green transition process. For this reason, the EC wants to ensure that their rules on state aid in the area of climate, environment and energy are properly prepared and adapted to the green transition. Thanks to the changes, Member States will be able to achieve the EU environmental objectives of the European Green Deal, and possible distortions of competition will be limited as much as possible.
It was proposed to introduce safeguards to ensure that support is provided in those areas where it is necessary for more effective protection of the climate and the environment. It will not exceed the amount necessary to achieve the environmental objectives, nor will it distort competition and jeopardize the integrity of the single market. In addition, the EC proposes that clean transport, energy efficiency in buildings and biodiversity projects should be fully financed by EU countries.
Measures covering new investments in natural gas will only be covered by the guidelines to the extent that they are demonstrated to be in line with the EU’s 2030 and 2050 climate targets.
The new guidelines are expected to be adopted by the end of 2021.