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New EU Subsidy Regime For Climate Protection Boosts Solar

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The European Commission has published new Guidelines on State aid for climate, environmental protection and energy (‘CEEAG’), which will be applicable from January 2022. The last CEEAG guidelines were reviewed in 2014.

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The new EU ‘state aid’ rules support projects for environmental protection, including climate protection and green energy generation. Now in line with the European Green Deal, the CEEAG prevents aid to fossil fuels, further restricts aid to natural gas, and otherwise integrates the Do No Significant Harm principle. Aid to renewable energy is now included under the category ‘aid to decarbonisation’.

Claire Couet, Policy Director of SolarPower Europe, said, “State aid has an important role to play to accelerate investments into the most sustainable and efficient energy technologies. The new state aid framework grants much more flexibility to member states in designing their aid mechanism and importantly, provides the right toolbox for member states to deliver on the EU’s 2030 climate target of a 55% reduction of greenhouse gases.

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Couet continues, “As more member states look to solar and storage to decrease exposure to volatile gas-driven electricity prices, hybrid solar tenders introduced in the new subsidy rules will enable the growth of these technologies.”

Naomi Chevillard, Senior Policy Advisor at SolarPower Europe said, “Under the new state aid rules, rooftop PV projects up to 1 MW, as well as 100% renewable energy community or SME-owned projects up to 6 MW, will not be burdened by competitive bidding processes. This empowers more European citizens and businesses to invest in solar, and accelerates the prosumer-led energy transition.”

Chevillard added, “The new state aid rules encourage tenders specific to certain renewable applications, such as agri-solar and floating solar, ensuring Europe maintains it’s competitive global lead in innovative solar PV technologies.”

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