The European Commission adopted on Thursday a Temporary Crisis and Transition Framework to help accelerate investment and financing for clean tech production in Europe.
In line with the Green Deal Industrial Plan, the updated framework amends and prolongs in part the one that was adopted a year ago and was amended a couple of times since then.
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The new framework extends until end-2025 the period during which Member States can further support net-zero transition measures such as schemes for accelerating the rollout of renewables and energy storage, and others targeting industrial production decarbonisation.
It amends the scope of such measures, simplifying the conditions for the provision of state aid to small projects and less-mature technologies like renewable hydrogen and, subject to some safeguards, eliminating the need for a competitive bidding process. Following the amendments, all types of renewables and industrial processes switching to hydrogen-derived fuels will be able to get financial backing. Moreover, higher aid ceilings and simplified aid calculations are being introduced.
The amended framework also adds new measures that support the manufacture of strategic equipment, key components, and critical raw materials, including batteries, solar panels, wind turbines, heat-pumps, electrolysers, and carbon capture usage and storage (CCUS) technologies. Member States will be allowed to aid such projects up to a certain percentage of the total investment cost, depending on the location and size of the beneficiary. In some exceptional cases, individual companies could get higher support to keep their investment plans in Europe.
“The Framework that we have adopted today gives Member States the option to give State aid in a fast, clear and predictable way. Our rules enable Member States to accelerate net-zero investments at this critical moment, while protecting the level playing field in the Single Market and cohesion objectives. The new rules are proportionate, targeted and temporary,” said Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice-President in charge of competition policy.