On 22 May 2012, the European Commission published its
long-awaited Communication setting out guidelines on certain state
aid measures in the context of the greenhouse gas emission
allowance trading scheme ("ETS") post -2012.
The Communication allows national support to companies in a
number of sectors to cover rising electricity costs. As a result of
a change to ETS, electricity prices are expected to rise in certain
sectors as from 2013 due to a passing on of the costs linked to
greenhouse gas emissions. The aid measures apply to (sub)sectors
that are deemed to be exposed to a significant risk of carbon
leakage, a process referred to in order to cover the risk of
companies being driven out of Europe by these high costs.
The sectors eligible for state aid are electro-intensive users,
such as producers of steel, aluminum, copper, fertilizers, steel,
paper, cotton, chemicals and some plastics. The compensation that
can be granted in these sectors is measured by a maximum "aid
intensity" decreasing over time. The aid intensity will amount
to 85% of the eligible costs incurred in 2013 to 2015, 80% of the
eligible costs in 2016 to 2018 and 75% of the eligible costs in
2019 and 2020.
Furthermore, the Communication provides that EU Member States
will be eligible for aid between 2013 and 2016, consisting of up to
15 percent of the cost of building highly efficient power plants
capable of safely capturing and storing carbon emissions.
Investment aid can also legally be granted for all investment costs
in modernising installations when EU Member States successfully
apply for a delay to full emissions-permit-auctioning
The Communication also groups Denmark with other Nordic
countries for the purpose of calculating regional emissions,
pushing up average emissions for that group.
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