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Brussels approves a state aid plan of 175 million euros

The European Commission approved this Thursday an aid plan from the Portuguese State, worth 175 million euros, to help companies that make intensive use of energy to cope with high electricity prices.

The regime intends, according to a communiqué from the community executive, partially compensate energy-intensive companies due to higher electricity prices resulting from the impact of carbon prices on electricity production costs (so-called “indirect emission costs”), incurred between 2021 and 2030, within the framework of the Emission Rights Trading Regime ( ETS) of the EU.

The measure will benefit eligible companies “that face significant electricity costs and are especially exposed to international competition”, with State aid granted through partial reimbursement of the indirect costs of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions incurred in the previous year, with a final maturity in 2031.

The maximum amount of aid per beneficiary will be equal to 75% of indirect issuance costs incurred in the ETS.

In order to promote energy savings, the amount of the aid is calculated on the basis of reference parameters of efficiency in the consumption of electricity, with the beneficiaries being apply certain energy audit recommendationscover at least 30% of its electricity consumption with carbon-free sources, or invest at least 50% of the amount of the aid in projects that involve substantial reductions in GHG emissions from its facilities.

Beneficiaries must comply with one of these obligations within a period of three years from the granting of the aid.

Geopolitical tensions over the war in Ukraine have affected the European energy market because the EU remains dependent on Russian fossil fuels such as gas (despite having reduced pipeline imports from 40% to less than 10%), for fear of cuts and supply disruptions this winter.

Source: Observadora

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