EU approves Irish State aid for renewable heat technologies

Commission found scheme will contribute to EU’s environmental objectives

EU guidelines concerning environmental protection include provisions on aid to energy infrastructure and generation capacity to strengthen the EU’s internal energy market.  Photograph: iStock

EU guidelines concerning environmental protection include provisions on aid to energy infrastructure and generation capacity to strengthen the EU’s internal energy market. Photograph: iStock

 

The European Commission has approved Irish State aid for renewable heat generation from technologies including biomass and anaerobic digestion.

Having assessed the scheme, the commission found it to be proportionate as the payments granted to beneficiaries would not lead to overcompensation in the market.

State aid in the European Union is prohibited unless it can be justified by reasons of general economic development. Guidelines concerning environmental protection were introduced in 2014 to promote a gradual move to market-based support for renewable energy. These also included provisions on aid to energy infrastructure and generation capacity to strengthen the EU’s internal energy market.

The commission concluded that the scheme would “contribute to the EU’s energy and environmental objectives without unduly distorting competition”.

Ireland’s scheme will be open to a wide range of users, and beneficiaries will receive operating aid in the form of a payment for the useful renewable heat generated over 15 years.

It is unclear who those beneficiaries are as of yet, and those details will not be made public until confidentiality issues are resolved.