A scheme to support electricity production from renewable sources in Italy has been approved by the European Commission.
Italy intends to introduce a new aid measure to support electricity production from renewable sources, such as onshore wind, solar photovoltaic, hydroelectric and sewage gases.
According to the Commission, the scheme, which will help Italy reach its renewable energy targets, will be applicable until 2021.
Reiterating that more renewable energy in power generation is essential for the future of the planet and environment, Competition Policy Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said the €5.4 billion scheme will increase the level of Italy’s electricity production from renewable sources. “This is in line with the EU environmental objectives and our common State aid rules,” she said.
Renewables installations benefitting from the scheme will receive support in the form of a premium on top of the market price. This premium cannot be higher than the difference between the average production cost for each renewable technology and the market price.
The Commission assessed the scheme under EU State aid rules, in particular under the 2014 Guidelines on State aid for environmental protection and energy. It found that the aid has an incentive effect, as the market price does not fully cover the costs of generating electricity from renewable energy sources. The aid is also proportionate and limited to the minimum necessary, as it only covers the negative difference between the market price of electricity and the production costs.
Brussels, therefore, concluded that the Italian measure is in line with EU State aid rules, as it promotes the generation of electricity from renewable sources, in line with the environmental objectives of the EU, without unduly distorting competition.