The European Commission on May 24 has approved under EU state aid rules Latvian plans to partially compensate energy-intensive users for charges paid to support renewable energy.

“Today’s measure will contribute to the competitiveness of these users without unduly distorting competition in the Single Market,” the Commission said in a press release, adding that it has a yearly budget of around €95 million and is estimated to benefit around 100 beneficiaries, covering the period from 2016 until 2021.

EU state aid rules, in particular Commission’s 2014 Guidelines on State Aid for Environmental Protection and Energy, allow Member States to grant reductions from contributions under certain conditions in order to maintain the global competitiveness of certain sectors. In particular, this concerns energy-intensive users in sectors that are particularly energy-intensive and/or exposed to international competition.

The Commission said that the EC concluded that the scope of the beneficiaries under Latvia’s plans meet the criteria under the Guidelines. The measure enables Latvia to strike a balance between guaranteeing support to renewable energy and ensuring competitiveness of energy-intensive industries.

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