The European Commission has approved a €44 million Slovak scheme to support electricity storage facilities to foster the transition towards a net-zero economy, in line with the Green Deal Industrial Plan. The scheme was approved under the State aid Temporary Crisis and Transition Framework, adopted by the Commission on 9 March 2023 to support measures in sectors which are key to accelerate the green transition and reduce fuel dependencies. The new Framework amends and prolongs in part the Temporary Crisis Framework, adopted on 23 March 2022 to enable Member States to support the economy in the context of the current geopolitical crisis, already amended on 20 July 2022 and on 28 October 2022.
Under the scheme, which will be fully financed under the Recovery and Resilience Facility (‘RRF’), the aid will take form of direct grants covering up to 65% of the total investment costs, with a maximum amount of aid per project of €25 million. The purpose of the scheme is to accelerate the deployment of new battery systems and repowering existing hydro pumped storage facilities, with the aim to foster the transition to a net-zero economy. The storage projects to be supported under the scheme will be selected through competitive bidding processes.
The Commission found that the Slovak scheme is in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Crisis and Transition Framework. In particular, the aid (i) will be granted on the basis of a scheme with an estimated capacity volume and budget; (ii) will be granted through a competitive bidding process; and (iii) will be granted no later than 31 December 2025. The Commission concluded that the scheme is necessary, appropriate and proportionate to accelerate the green transition and facilitate the development of certain economic activities, which are of importance to implement the REPower EU Plan and the Green Deal Industrial Plan, in line with Article 107(3)(c) TFEU and the conditions set out in the Temporary Crisis and Transition Framework. On this basis, the Commission approved the scheme under EU State aid rules.
More information on the Temporary Crisis and Transition Framework and other actions taken by the Commission to address the economic impact of Russia’s war against Ukraine and foster the transition towards a net-zero economy can be found here. The non-confidential version of the decision will be made available under the number SA.106554 in the State aid register on the Commission’s competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.