“This € 2.9 billion aid scheme allows Spain to reduce the risk of energy-intensive industries shifting their production to places with less ambitious climate targets than in the EU,” said the European Commission’s vice-president responsible for climate change. Competition, Margrethe Vestager, informs Agerpres.
The European official added that this system will “promote” a cost-effective decarbonisation of the economy, in line with the objectives of the Green Pact “and to protect competition in the single market”.
The measures proposed by Spain, and now approved by the EU executive, cover “part of the electricity prices derived from the impact of carbon prices on electricity generation costs (called” indirect emission costs “) assumed for the period 2021-2030,” he said. Commission.
The aid scheme aims to reduce the risk of “carbon leakage”, ie relocating production to non-EU countries with less stringent environmental policies, the EU executive said, adding that “aid is limited to the minimum necessary and will not it had unjustified negative effects on competition and trade in the EU. “
In addition to the above-mentioned sectors, the aid is also targeted at sectors such as lead, zinc, tin, oil refining and non-ferrous metal production, among others.
“These sectors face significant electricity costs and are particularly exposed to international competition,” the Commission said.
The aid will be granted to eligible companies by partially offsetting the costs of indirect emissions incurred in the previous year under the European Emissions Trading Scheme ETS, to which will be added a final payment to be made in 2031.
The maximum amount of aid will generally be equal to 75% of the costs of indirect emissions incurred, but in some cases may be higher.
Companies that want to opt for compensation will have to follow certain energy audit recommendations.
In addition, they will have to cover at least 30% of electricity consumption from non – carbon sources, or invest at least 50% of the amount of aid in projects that lead to “substantial reductions” in emissions.
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