The European Commission has approved first a 1.2 billion euro Polish scheme to support energy-intensive companies facing increased energy costs in the context of Russia’s war against Ukraine. Secondly, it approved a 2.5 billion euro Czech scheme to help manufacturing companies decarbonise their production processes and improve their energy efficiency to foster the transition to a net-zero economy.
Both schemes were 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.
Under the Polish measure, the aid will take the form of direct grants. Its purpose is to cover additional costs due to exceptional increases in energy prices linked to the current geopolitical crisis. The measure will be open to energy-intensive companies active in industrial production sectors, such as mining, quarrying and manufacturing. The energy-intensive companies active in particularly affected sectors will be entitled to receive aid up to 80 per cent of the eligible costs, up to a maximum of 40 million euros.
The scheme will be open to companies active in sectors subject to the EU ETS, including energy-intensive industries, such as refineries and companies active in the production of heavy metals, construction materials and chemical products. The purpose of the scheme is to help these industries reduce greenhouse gas emissions from their production processes by at least 40 per cent and their energy consumption by at least 20 per cent compared to today. In order to be eligible, companies aiming to reduce greenhouse gas emissions need to either electrify their production processes or switch from the use of fossil fuels to renewable hydrogen or renewable hydrogen-derived fuels.