EU approves Belgian renewable energy certificate schemes

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The European Commission on Friday said it had approved a Belgian scheme of certificates for renewable energy and high-efficiency cogeneration plant as in line with the bloc’s climate goals.

“The two schemes contribute to reaching EU energy and climate goals whilst preserving competition,” the Commission, which acts as the competition watchdog in the European Union, said, according to Reuters.

The European Commission has concluded the certificates schemes for renewable electricity and high-efficiency cogeneration implemented in Flanders (Belgium) to be in line with EU State aid rules. The two schemes contribute to reaching EU energy and climate goals whilst preserving competition.

In October 2017, Belgium notified two measures to support the development of renewable electricity and high-efficiency cogeneration in the region of Flanders:

Under the green certificates scheme, renewable electricity producers receive one green certificate for each MWh they generate.

Under the combined heat and power (CHP) certificates scheme, high-efficiency cogeneration installations receive one certificate for each MWh of energy saving they realise,

Renewable electricity producers and high-efficiency cogeneration installations can then sell their certificates on the market and thereby obtain additional revenues on top of the electricity market price.

The Commission assessed the compatibility of the two schemes under EU State aid rules, in particular the provisions of the 2014 Guidelines on State Aid for Environmental Protection and Energy. It concluded that the two certificates schemes will support the production of electricity from renewable energy sources and high-efficiency cogeneration, in line with EU environmental objectives, while any distortion of competition caused by the public support is minimised. The two schemes will help Belgium to meet its 2020 target of producing 13% of its energy needs from renewable sources.

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