The European Commission has found that Polish plans to allocate free of charge 404.6 million carbon emission allowances for modernising the electricity sector are in line with EU state aid rules. Today, 90% of Poland’s electricity generation is based on coal-fired power stations, which are very carbon-intensive. The Polish investment plan includes more than 340 investment projects with a total value exceeding €28 billion (PLN 119 billion). Those investments will be partially funded through the allocation of free greenhouse gas emission allowances. The Commission found that the funds granted will be used to modernise production infrastructure, diversify the energy mix or build new installations. This will contribute to liberalising energy markets, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing the security of supply, in line with EU objectives, without unduly distorting competition in the Single Market.
Joaquín Almunia, Commission Vice President in charge of competition policy noted: “The investments will allow Poland to diversify its sources for the production of electricity and to contribute to the expansion of national energy markets. At the same time the measure contributes to reaching Europe’s 2020 objectives by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”
The projects to be supported with the free allowances were chosen through an open, transparent and non-discriminatory procedure. They will contribute to a more competitive environment by closing some of the low efficient coal fuelled thermal plants and developing a higher share of lower emitting natural gas and renewable energy production.