April 15, 2019 / 10:05 AM / 3 months ago

EU okays 5 billion euro Polish energy scheme, probes surcharge cut

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - EU competition regulators on Monday approved a 5-billion-euro ($5.7 billion) Polish co-generation power scheme with surcharge reductions for large energy users.

At the same time, it opened an investigation into surcharge cuts for energy-intensive users to finance the country’s capacity mechanism.

The European Commission said the co-generation energy project, which will run until 2028, was in line with the bloc’s environmental and climate goals.

Under the scheme, efficient combined heat and power installations will receive a premium on top of the market price, the co-generation premium, for a maximum period of 15 years.

The EU state aid enforcer said the proposed surcharge reduction for energy-intensive users complied with EU rules. This fee is to finance the co-generation support scheme.

However, the Commission said planned reductions in the capacity mechanism surcharge for energy-intensive users raised concerns as they might lead to inefficient higher demand for electricity in off-peak periods as well as a greater need for extra capacity.

Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; editing by Philip Blenkinsop

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