Europe will need a huge amount of sustainable investment to achieve its green goals, and state aid limits may need to be boosted, according to the European Commissioner for competition.
Margrethe Vestager said in a speech on Tuesday governments in the bloc could receive a “green bonus” incentive, Kallanish Energy reports.
To preserve competition and anti-trust rules in Europe, governments are limited on how much state aid can be given to a project. But to deliver the so-called European Green Deal, the commissioner is now proposing an incentive to allow more public funding into projects that will help decarbonize EU economy.
A consultation is expected in the coming weeks, with a conference set to take place next year.
Polluting factories or power plants may be rejected support. The EC also wants to look at whether too much state aid is being used to protect some energy-intensive industries “from having to bear the environmental costs of their energy use.”
“That aid can stop emissions from moving outside Europe. But it doesn’t help us decarbonize our economy – and it leaves other industries with even more to do, to reach our green goals,” she said.
Public spending is seen as the “catalyst” to make the green transition happen “fast enough,” with at least 37% of the €670 ($782.2) billion earmarked green investment to come from public funds, Vestager added.
Other measures currently considered include public auctions with the aim to support large-scale deployment and cost reduction of new technology.
“We could also look at how to build on the success of competitive tenders in keeping renewable energy costs down, by seeing if we could extend that approach to other areas,” she said.
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