State Aid and the Energy Sector
Tuesday, 3 December 2013, 18:00-21:00, European Parliament, Brussels
The European Commission is in the process of modernising its rules on state aid for environmental protection which includes renewable energy sources. At the same time, the European Commission is considering to extend the scope of the guidelines to areas where there are no rules at the moment.
This parliamentary dinner debate focused on specific areas included in the guidelines, more specifically whether nuclear energy would be included and a technology-netural bidding process would be authorised. The guidelines are due to be adopted in the first half of 2014.
After the introductory speech of Fiona Hall (MEP, EUFORES Vice-President) and a presentation of Gert-Jan Koopman (Deputy Director-General - State Aids, DG COMP) and Maria Kleis (RAP), a panel discussion followed with Frauke Thies (EPIA) and Susanne Nies (Eurelectric). Frauke Thies argued that the state aid has to be technology-specific and tailor-made in order to avoid overcompensations and to ensure establishment of a well functioning market. Gert-Jan Koopman indicated that the European Commission is working on a technology specific approach with three different categories of technologies. However, it remains unknown how these will be designed and what technologies will be considered mature or immature. This distinction will be crucial for establishing a competitive and well functioning market.
This parliamentary dinner debate was attended by Members of the European Parliament, representatives of the European Commission, Permanent Representations to the EU, renewable energy industry associations and a few selected stakeholders.