April 10, 2015 / 12:55 PM / 4 years ago

EU approves changes to Dutch renewables support scheme

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union competition regulators ruled on Friday that modifications to a Dutch scheme supporting energy production from renewable sources were in line with EU state aid rules.

The Commission, which rules on competition and state aid matters, found in April 2014 that the scheme, Stimulering Duurzame Energieproductie (SDE+), would support energy and environmental objectives without unduly distorting competition.

The scheme, which includes competitive bidding to determine the level of premiums paid to beneficiaries, has now been expanded to include support for co-firing of biomass and includes a separate bidding process for electricity produced from offshore wind.

From January 2016, no subsidies will be paid for periods in which the wholesale price is negative. The SDE+ will be financed through an increased energy tax paid by consumers.

Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop; editing by Susan Thomas

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