State Aid Commission deems solar energy scheme illegal

A year after the ERO granted millions in state funded incentive tariffs to private solar energy companies, the State Aid Commission has reversed the decision, labelling the scheme illegal.

The State Aid Commission, SAC has found that a scheme approved by the Energy Regulatory Office, ERO, that provided feed-in-tariffs to incentivise the production of up to 20 MW of solar energy is illegal.

The ERO scheme was approved by a decision by the regulatory board in November 2019. However, according to the SAC, the ERO failed to consult the Commission in violation of Kosovo’s Law on State Aid.

“The State Aid Commission has found that the scheme approved by ERO is illegal, as it has taken a decision regarding it, without notifying or receiving authorization from the State Aid Commission for its compliance with the law, violating Article 3 of the Law on State Aid,” the SAC stated on Thursday.

It is also stated that the ERO scheme does not meet the conditions set out in EU Guidelines for State Aid, Environmental Protection and Energy.

The SAC started to investigate the case of feed-in-tariffs days after BIRN broadcast an investigation into irregularities in the process relating to companies owned by Blerim Devolli. Ownership of a number of companies had been obfuscated in order for Devolli to avoid the three MW threshold for the tariffs.

On Thursday, the SAC obliged the ERO to halt all future implementation of the troubled scheme.

“The State Aid Commission through this decision (17/2020) obliges the ERO not to implement the support scheme in question,” the Commission stated, adding that the ERO was now obliged to notify the SAC of any subsequent steps taken.

26/11/2020 - 14:03

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26 November 2020 - 14:03

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