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EC endorses the new Guidelines on State aid for Climate, Environmental protection and Energy

Thursday, 23 December 2021

European Commission endorsed the new Guidelines on State aid for climate, environmental protection and energy (‘CEEAG')on Monday. The CEEAG will be formally adopted in January 2022 and will be applicable from that moment. 

The new rules involve an alignment with the important EU objectives and targets set out in the European Green Deal and with other recent regulatory changes in the energy and environmental areas and cater for the increased importance of climate protection. 

The State aid rules include sections to support the decarbonisation of the economy in a broad and flexible manner open to all technologies that can contribute to the European Green Deal, including renewables, energy efficiency measures, aid for clean mobility, infrastructure, circular economy, pollution reduction, protection and restoration of biodiversity as well as measures to ensure security of energy supply. The Guidelines also aim at facilitating the participation of renewable energy communities and SMEs, as important drivers for the green transition.

Among others, the CEEAG:

  • Broaden the categories of investments and technologies that Member States can support to cover all technologies that can deliver the European Green Deal. A new single section covers the reduction or avoidance of greenhouse gas emissions, facilitating the assessment of measures supporting the decarbonisation of different sectors of the economy, including through investments in renewable energy, energy efficiency in production processes and industrial decarbonisation, in line with the European Climate Law. The revised rules generally allow for aid amounts up to 100% of the funding gap, especially where aid is granted following a competitive bidding process, and introduce new aid instruments, such as Carbon Contracts for Difference to help Member States respond to the greening needs of industry.
  • Increase flexibility and streamline the previous rules, also by eliminating the requirement for individual notifications of large green projects within aid schemes previously approved by the Commission.

Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: 

Europe will need a considerable amount of sustainable investments to support its green transition. Although a significant share will come from the private sector, public support will play a role in ensuring that the green transition happens fast. The new Guidelines endorsed today will increase everything we do to decarbonise our society. Among others, they will facilitate investments by Member States, including in renewables, to accelerate the achievement of our Green Deal, in a cost-effective way. This is a major step to ensuring that our State aid rules play their full role in supporting the European Green Deal.

More details can be found at Legislation (europa.eu)