The European Commission has approved the extension of a Latvian program which reduces the amount of funding available to incentivize renewable energy plants.
The EU's executive body on Monday announced its approval, under the bloc's state-aid rules, of Latvia's extension of a scheme to partially exempt some businesses from making their full electricity-related surcharge payments.
Under the terms of the original exemption program, which ran from May 2017 to the end of last year, certain electricity-intensive industries exposed to international competition could avoid paying up to 85% of a surcharge levied by the state upon electricity usage, the proceeds of which are used to finance renewables.
Solar and sustainability
Via the UP Initiative, pv magazine is diving deep into the topic of what it means to be truly sustainable in the solar industry; looking at what is already being done, and discussing areas for improvement. Quarterly themes have thus far covered the use of lead in solar, raw material sourcing for batteries, green finance, circular manufacturing, PV module recycling, agriPV, and workers’ rights. Contact email@example.com to learn more.
Latvia extended the scheme until the end of this year in a move which has now been rubber-stamped by the commission.
The extended program increased the number of industrial sectors which qualify for an exemption from the surcharge and also reduced the electricity-intensity requirements concerned, to help energy-intensive operations through the Covid-19 crisis.
The commission said this year's budget for the surcharge exemption program had been set at a provisional €7 million by the Latvian authorities.
The commission has also approved Austria‘s planned renewables incentive scheme, under state-aid regulations.
Vienna plans to hold technology-specific auctions to determine the level of premium payments acceptable to developers of solar, wind, hydro, biomass and biogas facilities. The payments are intended to bridge the gap between the wholesale electricity price and the actual cost of renewables generation and the authorities plan to review auction rules and technology-specific premium price caps, with the possibility of also holding mixed renewables tenders to include wind and hydro.
The scheme approved by the commission on Monday will run to the end of the decade, with top-up payments granted for up to 20 years. Austria estimates the program will cost €4.4 billion over the next ten years.
The nation is aiming to source all its electricity from renewables by 2030.
This copy was amended on 22/12/21 to clarify the decisions made by the commission were announced on Monday.
This content is protected by copyright and may not be reused. If you want to cooperate with us and would like to reuse some of our content, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
By submitting this form you agree to pv magazine using your data for the purposes of publishing your comment.
Your personal data will only be disclosed or otherwise transmitted to third parties for the purposes of spam filtering or if this is necessary for technical maintenance of the website. Any other transfer to third parties will not take place unless this is justified on the basis of applicable data protection regulations or if pv magazine is legally obliged to do so.
You may revoke this consent at any time with effect for the future, in which case your personal data will be deleted immediately. Otherwise, your data will be deleted if pv magazine has processed your request or the purpose of data storage is fulfilled.
Further information on data privacy can be found in our Data Protection Policy.