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Competition Policy

Cases & Judgments (Energy & Environment)

State aid

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)

SectorCasesNACE code

Mining of coal and lignite

antitrust/cartelsmergersstate aidB5

Extraction of crude petroleum and natural gas

antitrust/cartelsmergersstate aidB6

Mining of uranium and thorium ores

antitrust/cartelsmergersstate aidB7

Extraction of peat

antitrust/cartelsmergersstate aidB8

Support activities for petroleum and natural gas extraction

antitrust/cartelsmergersstate aidB9

Manufacture of basic metals

antitrust/cartelsmergersstate aidC24

Manufacture of coke and refined petroleum products

antitrust/cartelsmergersstate aidC19

Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply

antitrust/cartelsmergersstate aidD35

Electric power generation, transmission and distribution

antitrust/cartelsmergersstate aidD35.1
  • Production of electricity
antitrust/cartelsmergersstate aidD35.11
  • Transmission of electricity
antitrust/cartelsmergersstate aidD34.12
  • Distribution of electricity
antitrust/cartelsmergersstate aidD35.13
  • Trade of electricity
antitrust/cartelsmergersstate aidD35.14

Manufacture of gas; distribution of gaseous fuels through mains

antitrust/cartelsmergersstate aidD35.2
  • Manufacture of gas
antitrust/cartelsmergersstate aidD35.21
  • Distribution of gaseous fuels through mains
antitrust/cartelsmergersstate aidD35.22
  • Trade of gas through mains
antitrust/cartelsmergersstate aidD35.23

Steam and air conditioning supply

antitrust/cartelsmergersstate aidD35.3

Water supply; sewerage; waste management and remediation activities


Water collection, treatment and supply

antitrust/cartelsmergersstate aidE36


antitrust/cartelsmergersstate aidE37

Waste collection, treatment and disposal activities; materials recovery

antitrust/cartelsmergersstate aidE38
  • Waste collection
antitrust/cartelsmergersstate aidE38.1
               - Collection of non-hazardous wasteantitrust/cartelsmergersstate aidE38.11
               - Collection of hazardous wasteantitrust/cartelsmergersstate aidE38.12
  • Waste treatment and disposal
antitrust/cartelsmergersstate aidE38.2
               - Treatment and disposal of non-hazardous wasteantitrust/cartelsmergersstate aidE38.21
               - Treatment and disposal of hazardous wasteantitrust/cartelsmergersstate aidE38.22
  • Materials recovery
antitrust/cartelsmergersstate aidE38.3
               - Dismantling of wrecksantitrust/cartelsmergersstate aidE38.31
               - Recovery of sorted materialsantitrust/cartelsmergersstate aidE38.32

Remediation activities and other waste management services

antitrust/cartelsmergersstate aidE39

Wholesale of solid, liquid and gaseous fuels and related products

antitrust/cartelsmergersstate aidG46.71

Wholesale of waste and scrap

antitrust/cartelsmergersstate aidG46.77

Retail sale of automotive fuel in specialised stores

antitrust/cartelsmergersstate aidG47.3