The European Commission has approved Poland’s $260m scheme aimed at supporting high efficiency combined heat and power.

The commission had been examining the scheme for potential state aid violations but has now ruled that the programme, which runs until 2018, was in line with the bloc’s energy and climate objectives as well as EU state aid rules.
Commissioner Margrethe Vestager
Outlining European rationale for the decision, 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 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.