The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications has prepared a draft act aimed at supporting the use of biomethane in Estonia’s public transport sector. Purified biogas, or biomethane, can be used as motor fuel in vehicles. The support measure should contribute to the goal of increasing renewable energy use in the transport sector to 10 per cent by 2020.
The support measure does not entail investment aid for the production of biomethane. Instead, it should help create demand for biomethane, which in turn should provide a market incentive to establish biomethane production facilities. To create demand for biomethane, support is offered for:
- establishing biomethane filling stations;
- commissioning biomethane buses for public regular transport services.
The budget for supporting filling station infrastructure is EUR 3 million. The maximum level of support is 35% of eligible costs and up to EUR 300,000 for each project. Thus, support is available for establishing around 20 filling stations. Only legal persons may apply.
The budget for supporting regular public services is EUR 6 million. The maximum level of support is 30% of eligible costs and up to EUR 4 million for each project, with a minimum threshold of EUR 600,000. Persons organising regular public services (eg local municipalities) may apply for support.
Note: Support constitutes state aid and is governed by Article 56 of the European Commission’s block exemption regulation (EU) No. 651/2014. This means, for example, that support would not be given to projects in which eligible activities have been launched or completed before the date of applying for support.
The support measure is currently at the draft stage and conditions may change before adoption.