Free European Union flags image, public domain CC0 photo.

On Tuesday, the European Commission said that it had approved the German government’s three-billion-euro initiative to assist renewable energy and waste heat-based district heating programs, which it claimed would help Germany and the EU meet their climate change commitments.

The 2.98 billion-euro initiative will encourage green energy by providing government payments until 2028 to new district heating networks that use at least 75% renewable energy and waste heat, as well as projects that decarbonize existing networks.

The scheme, according to the Commission, complied with EU rules that require state aid to be “necessary and appropriate” because without it, new district heating facilities would likely be based on polluting fossil fuels, or such investments would not happen at all due to high investment needs and low revenues.

“With this measure, Germany will be able to increase the share of renewable energy and waste heat in the heating sector, thereby considerably decreasing its emissions,” said EU competition policy director Margrethe Vestager in a statement.

The German plan is intended to fund the construction of 681 MW of renewable heat production capacity every year, covering up to 40% of qualifying project investment costs.

Source: Reuters


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