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Svebio’s view on EU State aid regulation

Also submitted to the Swedish government/Ministry of Enterprise.

Summary of our view

  • The detailed regulation of state aid that is proposed constitutes a regulation of the Member States’ energy policies that is not in accordance with the Lisbon treaty. The Member States have the right to independently decide on their energy priorities.
  • It is desirable to better coordinate the steering measures in EU: the basis for the policy should be to put a price on carbon emissions through a strengthened emission trading scheme, and through common levels of carbon taxation for sectors and activities outside ETS. The steering measures should as far as possible be market based.
  • The Swedish government must first of all safeguard that Sweden also in the future may use functioning general incentives like carbon tax, renewable electricity certificates, and tax deductions. These incentives have been very successful and given Sweden a leading position in EU when it comes to renewable energy, with a 51percent share, at a low cost.
  • The state aid rules should be technology neutral. The prohibition of support for crop-based biofuels must be removed, and there should be no restrictions against using biomass as energy feedstock. The negativism against bioenergy in the document is disturbing.
  • More generous support should be given to the construction of grids for district heating and district cooling, under the condition that these grids are used with energy from biomass, waste or waste water from industries or CHP:s. Support for CCS should only be given as part of the emission trading scheme. State aid to nuclear power should be prohibited.

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