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Spain's plans to support coal-fired power plants have been investigated by the European Union
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Spain's plans to support coal-fired power plants have been investigated by the European Union



The other day, the European Commission has launched an investigation to access Spain’s environmental   incentivesfor coal-fired power plants.

The committee is concerned about supporting measures to meet mandatory EU environmental standards.


In 2007, Spain has launched a plan to support the installation of new filters at existing coal-fired power plants to reduce the emission of sulfur oxides, and developers can get 10 years of public support.


Up to now, a total of 14 coal-fired power plants received more than 440 million euros in state aid and will continue to be supported until 2020.


However, Spain did not inform the committee about this situation in accordance with EU state aid rules, because member states cannot provide public support to meet mandatory environmental standards.


Margrethe Vestager, the competition policy Commissioner, said, "who pollutes who is responsible - this is a long-term principle of EU's environmental law. Now, the EU national aid rules allow member countries to use taxpayers' money to lighten the company's responsibilities. "


"At present, we believe that the Spanish plan does not encourage coal-fired power plants to reduce the emissions of harmful sulphur oxide. According to the EU’s environmental law, member states are obliged to cut emissions. So what we are worried about is that these support gives the coal-fired plants an unfair competitive advantange. " Vestager points out.

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