State aid: Commission approves support scheme for energy-intensive companies in Slovakia

The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, Slovak plans to partially compensate energy-intensive companies for the national levy to support renewable energy production. Slovak support for renewable energy is at present financed through contributions based on electricity consumption. The scheme, which will apply until 31 December 2029 and will have a provisional budget of €120 million for the years 2019 to 2021, will benefit companies active in Slovakia in sectors that are particularly energy-intensive (hence with higher electricity consumption) and more exposed to international trade. The beneficiaries will obtain compensation for up to a maximum of 85% of their contribution to the financing of support to renewable energy. The Commission assessed the measure under EU State aid rules, in particular, the Guidelines on State Aid for environmental protection and energy 2014-2020. The Guidelines authorise reductions – up to a certain level – in contributions levied on energy-intensive companies active in certain sectors and exposed to international trade, in order to ensure their global competitiveness. The Commission found that the compensation will only be granted to energy intensive companies exposed to international trade, in line with the requirements of the Guidelines. Furthermore, the measure will promote the EU energy and climate goals and ensure the global competitiveness of energy-intensive users and industries, without unduly distorting competition. On this basis, the Commission concluded that the measure is in line with EU State aid rules.