The European Commission is working on new State Aid rules for energy
The European Commission is writing new State Aid rules for energy. These rules are really important for the sector – they decide if and how national and regional governments can fund renewable energy projects.
The new draft rules are a big improvement on the old rules. They are much simpler, so renewable projects are easier to fund than other sectors.
Most importantly the % ‘thresholds’ on public funding are removed. Now governments can provide as much public funding as is needed to close a project’s ‘funding gap’. It will be much simpler to properly fund demo projects, and to combine different sources of public funds. So this is a big win. In addition, national governments can still allocate revenue support to individual technologies – so ocean energy does not need to compete directly against more established mature tech.
The draft rules still need to be further improved. They will help many large mature renewable projects to be quickly approved. But they neglect the special needs of emerging technologies. Demonstration projects in particular need more exemptions.
OEE formed a coalition of emerging renewable sectors, and wrote a letter to the relevant European Commissioners to push for these improvements. As a result we will shortly be meeting with both the political cabinet of the Energy Commissioner and the competition officials who are writing the new rules.
The final rules are due to be published by the end of the year. OEE will keep pushing for rules that meet the needs of ocean energy, and will keep you informed of our results!