Improving State Aid for Energy and the Environment

Author (Corporate)
Series Title
Series Details Number 16
Publication Date October 2014
ISBN 978-92-79-38783-8
ISSN 2315-3113
EC KD-AK-14-016-EN-N
Content Type


The review of the Environmental Aid Guidelines for State aid started in 2012 and included three public consultations and numerous contacts with Member States and stakeholders. For the first time, the Commission decided to adopt Guidelines that would not only cover renewable energy sources (RES) and energy efficiency, but would be targeted more generally to aid measures in the energy field. The new Guidelines on State aid for Environmental protection and Energy were adopted in principle in April 2014 and have been applicable since 1 July 2014. The revised General Block Exemption Regulation (GBER) also entered into force on 1 July 2014. Together, they are part of the Commission's State Aid Modernisation (SAM) package, a broad overhaul of State aid rules and procedures. These reforms help Member States design aid measures that minimise distortions of the EU internal market and contribute to common goals, such as security of supply and progress in the fight against climate change.

Like the Guidelines, the GBER provisions on exempted aid for environmental protection have been extended to cover energy issues. The revised GBER has been aligned with the Guidelines and now includes measures such as aid for energy infrastructure, energy efficiency projects in buildings, operating aid to the production of energy from renewable energy sources, decontamination of polluted sites, district heating and cooling, waste recycling and reutilisation.

This policy brief focuses on the measures that received the most attention during the review process: aid for promotion of electricity from renewable energy sources, aid to infrastructure and generation adequacy, and modifications in funding support for electricity from renewable energy sources.

Further information:

The Competition Policy Briefs are occasional papers by staff of the Competition Directorate-General of the European Commission about policy issues and key cases.

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