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State Aid Dispute on Germany’s Support for Renewables

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Is the Commission on the Right Course?

image of Journal for European Environmental & Planning Law

The Commission is concerned that renewable support schemes may distort competition and trade between Member States. Thus, the Commission has recently proposed guidelines on how to make renewable support schemes compliant with state aid rules. Moreover, it has opened in-depth proceedings to investigate whether the German support scheme counts as inappropriate state aid in the meaning of Article 107 (1) tfeu. The Commission believes that, in particular, Germany’s concessions to energy-intensive industries, which pay only reduced levies to finance the renewables scheme, are distortive. This paper reviews the Commission’s arguments in this case as well as the proposed guidelines on state aid. It concludes that Germany’s support scheme does not constitute inappropriate state aid and that the Commission’s guidelines should be open to further discussion.

Affiliations: 1: Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - ufz, Leipzig, /


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