State aid can provide incentives to reach the EU targets for a low carbon and energy-efficient economy. The rules for environmental State aid allow a broad range of aid measures for environmental protection, whilst ensuring that any distortions of competition brought about by such measures do not go beyond what is necessary and acceptable.
The Commission monitors State support for companies in the energy and environment sector to ensure that it facilitates the development of an economic activity without affecting trading conditions to an extent contrary to the common interest.
> Guidelines for applying State aid rules in the energy sector
In recent years, the Commission has used its powers to control mergers to ensure that energy markets remain competitive. For instance, it imposed remedies in PKN Orlen/Grupa Lotos, E.ON/Innogy and Statoil Fuel and Retail/Dansk Fuels.
Moreover, when reviewing mergers the Commission ensures that innovation is protected and encouraged, so that firms come up with new and better technologies, products or know-how that can help, for instance, to reduce the levels of emissions or bring other sustainability or environmental improvements. Merger control makes sure that there is no loss of innovation caused by mergers between rivals, that would otherwise continue bringing benefits, such as research and advances in technology which are fundamental for economic progress.
Commission decisions in the energy sector
The codes in the far right column indicate the sector according to the General Industrial Classification of Economic Activities (NACE)
Mining of coal and lignite
Extraction of crude petroleum and natural gas
Mining of uranium and thorium ores
Extraction of peat
Support activities for petroleum and natural gas extraction
Manufacture of basic metals
Manufacture of coke and refined petroleum products
Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply
Electric power generation, transmission and distribution
Manufacture of gas; distribution of gaseous fuels through mains
Steam and air conditioning supply
Water supply; sewerage; waste management and remediation activities
Water collection, treatment and supply
Waste collection, treatment and disposal activities; materials recovery
|- Collection of non-hazardous waste||antitrust/cartels||mergers||state aid||E38.11|
|- Collection of hazardous waste||antitrust/cartels||mergers||state aid||E38.12|
|- Treatment and disposal of non-hazardous waste||antitrust/cartels||mergers||state aid||E38.21|
|- Treatment and disposal of hazardous waste||antitrust/cartels||mergers||state aid||E38.22|
|- Dismantling of wrecks||antitrust/cartels||mergers||state aid||E38.31|
|- Recovery of sorted materials||antitrust/cartels||mergers||state aid||E38.32|
Remediation activities and other waste management services
Wholesale of solid, liquid and gaseous fuels and related products
Wholesale of waste and scrap
Retail sale of automotive fuel in specialised stores