The European Commission has approved a €60 million Austrian scheme to support private investments for the production of specific strategic goods needed for the transition towards a net-zero economy. 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, the aid will take the form of direct grants.The purpose of the scheme is to support investments for the production of batteries, solar panels, wind turbines, heat-pumps, electrolysers, equipment for carbon capture usage and storage, as well as key components designed and primarily used as direct input for the production of such equipment or related critical raw materials necessary for their production.
The Commission found that the Austrian scheme is in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Crisis and Transition Framework. In particular, the aid (i) will incentivise the production of relevant equipment for the transition towards a net-zero economy; and (ii) will be granted until no later than 31 December 2025. The Commission concluded that the Austrian scheme is necessary, appropriate and proportionate to accelerate the green transition and facilitate the development of certain economic activities, which are of importance for the implementation of 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 case number SA.109170 in the State aid register on the Commission’s competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.