Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: "The Polish certificates system in support of high-efficiency co-generation of heat and power will increase energy efficiency in power production. This measure will support EU energy and climate goals and is in line with our state aid rules. Europe needs increasingly efficient energy production to help us meet our environmental goals.”
Poland introduced the combined heat and power (CHP) certificates support system in 2007. The beneficiaries of the scheme are producers of heat and power in high-efficiency CHP plants located in Poland. There are currently three categories of beneficiaries, eligible to receive different types of certificates. The certificates are colour coded (yellow, purple or red) and are allocated to the beneficiaries depending on the source of fuel and the capacity of the CHP plant.
The system then requires electricity suppliers and certain entities to purchase from the beneficiaries a specific number of CHP certificates, in proportion to the amount of power supplied to end users or purchased.
Poland considered that its CHP certificates system did not constitute state aid but notified the measure to obtain legal certainty.
The Commission concluded that the CHP support system and its financing involve state resources and contains all the elements to qualify as state aid. However, the system was found to be in line with state aid rules (the Energy and Environmental Aid Guidelines, for the aid granted after 1 July 2014, and the Environmental Aid Guidelines, for the period before 1 July 2014). This is because under these rules Member States are allowed to grant State aid for high efficiency co-generation of heat and power subject to certain conditions. The Commission found that the Polish CHP support system promotes energy efficiency and meets these conditions.
The Commission also found that the previous certificates of origin system implemented by Poland to support electricity from renewable energy sources constituted state aid, but found it complied with state aid rules (case SA.37345).
The non-confidential version of the decision will be published in the State aid register on the competition website under the case numbers SA.36518. The State Aid Weekly e-News lists new publications of state aid decisions on the internet and in the EU Official Journal.