State aid: Commission approves compensation to energy-intensive companies in Poland for indirect emission costs

The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, Polish plans to compensate energy-intensive companies for higher electricity prices resulting from indirect emission costs under the EU Emission Trading Scheme (ETS). The scheme will cover the period 2019-2020, with a provisional budget of PLN 1.78 billion (approximately €417 million). The measure will benefit companies active in Poland in sectors facing significant electricity costs and which are particularly exposed to international competition. The compensation will be granted through a partial refund of electricity costs to eligible companies. The Commission assessed the measure under EU State aid rules, in particular its Guidelines on certain State aid measures in the context of the greenhouse gas emission allowance trading scheme post-2012 and found that it is in line with the requirements of the Guidelines. In particular, the scheme will avoid an increase in global greenhouse gas emissions due to companies relocating to countries outside the EU with less stringent environmental regulation. Furthermore, the Commission concluded that the aid granted is limited to the minimum necessary.