On 12 June 2012, the Commission announced its approval of a UK scheme to provide renewable incentives in Northern Ireland, under EU State aid rules, as it furthers environmental protection and limitation of carbon emissions without unduly distorting competition. It is also compatible with the EU Environmental Aid Guidelines, which allow Member States to provide aid to support renewable energy provided certain conditions on type and intensity of aid apply. Under the scheme, in helping reach its objectives of 12% renewable heat and 30% renewable electricity by 2020, the UK intends to incentivise the use of renewable energy sources to produce heat, hot water, biomass, ground source, biogas and solar energy sources in Northern Ireland. Tariffs will be paid to the most energy-intensive players, i.e. commercial users of energy sources. The scheme will be managed by the Northern Ireland Executive for up to 20 years and will be worth an estimated £184m. It is aiming to reach a level of 10% renewable heat by 2020, increasing 0.3 TWh currently produced in the territory to 1.3 TWh. Read more.
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State aid for environmental protection: European Commission approves UK renewable heat incentive scheme for Northern Ireland
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