The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, a Croatian scheme that grants reductions to energy-intensive companies on a surcharge to finance support for renewable electricity production.
Croatian support for renewable energy is at present financed through contributions from electricity consumers, based on their consumption. The scheme, which will apply until 31 December 2021 and will have a provisional annual budget of €10 million, will benefit companies active in Croatia in sectors that are particularly energy-intensive (hence with higher electricity consumption) and more exposed to international trade. The beneficiaries will obtain a reduction of up to a maximum of 80% of their contribution to the financing of support to renewable energy.
Croatia also submitted an adjustment plan to align with State aid rules the level of reductions from which a number of eligible and non-eligible companies have benefitted since 2013. The Commission assessed the measure and the adjustment plan under EU State aid rules, in particular, the Guidelines on State Aid for environmental protection and energy 2014-2020. The Guidelines authorise reductions – up to a certain level – in contributions levied on energy-intensive companies active in certain sectors and exposed to international trade, in order to ensure their global competitiveness. The Commission found that the compensation will only be granted to energy intensive companies exposed to international trade, in line with the requirements of the Guidelines. Furthermore, the measure will promote the EU energy and climate goals and ensure the global competitiveness of energy-intensive users and industries, without unduly distorting competition. On this basis, the Commission concluded that the measure and the adjustment plan are in line with EU State aid rules.
8 June 2020