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EU State aid guidelines and investigations risk undermining EU competition and energy policy

18.12.2013

The European Commission proposes putting an end to differentiated support for renewable technologies such as onshore and offshore wind in its consultation of draft State aid guidelines for energy and the environment published today. This would effectively stop Member States from determining their own energy mix - a fundamental principle of EU energy policy.

"These guidelines, if adopted in their present form, endanger Member States' ability to meet their 2020 renewable energy targets cost effectively", commented Pierre Tardieu from the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA). "Moreover, following the destabilising regulatory changes for renewable energy in many countries, requiring further fundamental changes to support mechanisms would cause major investor uncertainty."  

Member States and stakeholders must ensure the guidelines do not put at risk their path to the 2020 targets when they take part in the consultation on the proposal that has been launched. The guidelines are expected to enter into force on 1 July 2014.

Read EWEA's briefing

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Separately, the European Commission has today announced investigations into the German renewable energy support mechanism, the EEG, and the UK’s measures offering generous support to nuclear energy.
"The EEG investigation risks undermining the wind industry in Germany by destabilising investors, and putting at risk the jobs, energy security and industrial leadership brought by wind and other renewables", commented Tardieu. "The Commission needs to carry out this investigation as rapidly and with as little disruption as possible."  

“The UK nuclear investigation is welcome as a 35-year subsidy would wreck efforts for a single European electricity market until after the year 2058, just over 100 years after the first commercial nuclear power plant was installed at Sellafield/Windscale in the UK ", commented Tardieu.  

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