State aid: Commission approves Italian scheme under Recovery and Resilience Facility to support biomethane production

Daily News 08 / 08 / 2022


Economy - published on 09 August 2022


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Source: European Commission Spokesperson’s Service

The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, an Italian scheme made available through the Recovery and Resilience Facility (‘RRF’) to support the construction and
the operation of new or converted biomethane production plants. The measure is part of Italy’s strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to increase its share of renewable energies. The
scheme will also contribute to the objectives of the
REPowerEU Plan
to reduce dependence on Russian fossil fuels and fast forward the green transition. The scheme will support the production of sustainable biomethane to be injected into the
national gas grid for use in the transport and heating sectors. In order to qualify for aid under the scheme, the biomethane production must comply with the requirements set out in the
EU Renewable Energy Directive
. For biomethane to be used in the transport sector specifically, only the production of advanced biomethane will qualify for aid, as it is the most sustainable and
environmentally friendly fuel, to help the EU achieve its climate and energy objectives. The Commission assessed and approved the scheme under EU State aid rules, in particular Article
107(3)(c)
of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (‘TFEU’), which enables EU countries to support the development of certain economic activities subject to certain
conditions, and the Guidelines
on State aid for climate, environmental protection and energy 2022
.

Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: “The Italian aid scheme we have approved today will boost the EU’s production of
sustainable biomethane for use in the transport and heating sectors, in line with the the REPowerEU Plan. The Italian aid measure, which will be partly funded by the Recovery and Resilience
Facility, will help Italy meet its emission reduction targets, reduce its dependence on Russian fossil fuels and improve its security of gas supply, while limiting possible distortions of
competition.” A press release is available online.

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