Austrian scheme to support electricity production from renewables gets EU nod

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An Austrian help scheme to help electrical energy production from renewable sources complies with EU State help rules, the EU’s antitrust chief stated on December 20.

“This scheme will allow Austria to help renewable technologies, because it has set its aim to realize 100% CO2 free electrical energy era in 2030,” EU Commission Government Vice-President Margrethe Vestager stated. The measure will contribute to the discount of CO2 and different greenhouse fuel emissions, in keeping with the EU Inexperienced Deal aims and the environmental targets set in Austria’s Recovery and Resilience Plan, with out unduly distorting competition within the Single Market,” she added.

In response to the Commission, the measure will assist Austria reach its target of 100% renewable power in 2030, in keeping with its Restoration and Resilience Plan as endorsed by the Commission and accepted by Council, and will contribute to the European goal of attaining climate neutrality by 2050, without unduly distorting competition in the Single market.

Austria notified the Commission of its intention to introduce a scheme to help electricity produced from renewable power sources specifically wind, photo voltaic, hydro, biomass and biogas.

Beneath the scheme, the aid will take the form of a top-up premium, calculated as the difference between the typical production value for each renewable know-how and the electricity market worth, the Commission stated. Particularly for electrical energy produced from wind, solar power and biomass, the aid might be granted by means of know-how specific aggressive bidding processes, which should contribute to keep the help proportionate and cost-effective. Austria has additionally foreseen mixed-technology tenders including wind and hydro in their framework.

Austria also dedicated to open the renewables help scheme to power producers established outdoors Austria, subject to the conclusion of bilateral or multilateral cooperation agreements with other nations.

The measure will apply till the top of 2030. The aid might be paid out to the chosen beneficiaries for a interval of most 20 years from the starting of the operation of the plant. Payments underneath the scheme have been estimated to amount to around €4.4 billion until finish 2032.

Austria has set itself the target to increase the share of electricity produced from renewable power sources from the current 75 % to 100% in 2030. The measure is likely one of the targets to be achieved by Austria in the context of its Restoration and Resilience Plan.

The Fee assessed the scheme beneath EU State assist guidelines, particularly the 2014 Tips on State assist for environmental safety and power.

The Fee stated the help is important to further develop power era from renewable sources and help Austria obtain its environmental targets. It additionally has an incentive effect, as present electricity prices do not absolutely cowl the prices of generating electrical energy from renewable power sources. Hence, the investments by the selected beneficiaries wouldn't happen within the absence of the aid.

Moreover, the help is proportionate and restricted to the minimal needed. The level of assist shall be decided by aggressive tenders for electricity produced from wind, solar power and biomass. Moreover, Austria envisages most worth caps based mostly on the price of manufacturing. The help can be granted in the form of a top-up premium, which can't exceed the distinction between the market worth of electrical energy and the manufacturing costs. In this context, Austria will carry out a yearly evaluate of the prices of producing electricity from the supported renewable power versus the market prices.

Moreover, Austria has committed to make sure adequate flexibility to adapt the help scheme to market developments, with a view to maintaining a price environment friendly help. Particularly, in view of the novelty of the system for the nation, Austria put in place a mechanism of evaluate, notably with an interim analysis by 2025. It has also envisaged a attainable adaptation of the system so as to be sure that tenders remain aggressive.

Lastly, the Fee stated the constructive results of the measure, particularly the constructive environmental results, outweigh any potential damaging results when it comes to potential distortions to competitors.

On this basis, the Commission concluded that the Austrian scheme is consistent with EU State assist guidelines, as it'll facilitate the development of renewable electricity production from numerous applied sciences in Austria and scale back greenhouse fuel and CO2 emissions, consistent with the European Inexperienced Deal, without unduly distorting competitors in the Single Market.

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