A measure to support the production of electricity from renewable energy sources and a measure to support electro-intensive users in Lithuania have been approved by the European Commission, under EU State aid rules, the Commission’s competition chief has said.

“These two schemes will allow Lithuania to both continue supporting the development of renewable energy sources in the country and to preserve the competitiveness of electricity-intensive companies by reducing their contributions to the financing of this support,” EU Competition Policy Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said, adding that this will contribute to Lithuania’s transition to low carbon and environmentally sustainable energy supply, in line with the EU environmental objectives and EU state aid rules.

In 2012, Lithuania set up a scheme to support producers of electricity from renewable energy sources. On January 8, the Commission said the EC approved aid granted under this scheme from 2012 to 2015 when the last beneficiary under the scheme was selected. During this period, beneficiaries were selected through tender procedures and are then granted support in the form of a feed-in-premium for a period of 12 years.

According to the Commission, small-scale electricity plants receive support in the form of a fixed feed-in-tariff, for example, a guaranteed price for the electricity produced, for a period of 12 years.

The Commission said the EC assessed the scheme under EU State aid rules, in particular under the 2008 Guidelines on State aid for environmental protection and 2014 Guidelines on State aid for environmental protection and energy and concluded that the Lithuanian 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.

The Lithuanian support scheme for producers of electricity from renewable energy sources is financed via a levy paid by the final electricity consumers. From January 1, 2019, Lithuania intends to grant reductions on this levy to energy-intensive industrial users.

The Commission said the EC concluded that the Lithuanian measure is in line with EU State aid rules, in particular with the Guidelines on State aid for environmental protection and energy 2014-2020.

According to the Commission, the measure will promote EU energy and climate goals and ensure the global competitiveness of energy-intensive users and industries, without unduly distorting competition in the Single Market.