Brussels — The existing State aid Guidelines on Environmental Protection entered into force in 2008 and cover the period until end 2014. Now the European Commission proposes to extend the scope of the existing guidelines beyond the environmental field into the energy area and to clarify and simplify the assessment of state aid measures. State aid in the form of reductions in funding support for electricity from renewable sources is of key interest for FEAD members who perform recycling activities or produce refuse-derived fuel (RDF). Above all, FEAD recognises that state aid should be targeted to avoid the risk that certain sectors are relocated outside the EU.
FEAD members would like to draw attention to the fact that the draft Guidelines stress that state aid should be limited to sectors that are exposed to a significant risk of carbon leakage due to the funding of support to energy from renewable sources. If the draft Guidelines recognise that state aid should be limited only to sectors that are exposed to a significant risk of carbon leakage, the European private waste management industry would have to face high energy costs.
Recycling activity benefits the environment through the avoidance of emissions in primary production processes and EU policy is designed to encourage higher levels of recycling. The impact of higher energy prices resulting from the promotion of renewable energies could inadvertently reduce the incentive for recycling activity to be maximised across the EU.
Therefore, FEAD calls on the European Commission to ensure that the Guidelines are coherent with other EU law and policies (e.g. waste law and Europe 2020). Therefore, FEAD calls on the Commission to revise the draft Guidelines so the recycling industry is also protected from higher energy costs resulting from funding of support to energy from renewable sources.
Source: European Federation of Waste Management and Environmental Services (FEAD)