Swift industrial ETMEAR action needed, association urges

Any further delay by the government in its submission to the European Commission of an official environment and energy sector adjustment plan, in accordance with EU directives, threatens to seriously impact the industrial sector’s energy costs and level of competitiveness, EVIKEN, the Association of Industrial Energy Consumers, has warned in a letter forwarded to the country’s energy ministry.

The adjustment plan includes reduced RES-supporting ETMEAR surcharge costs enjoyed by energy-intensive industries. These face the danger of being classified as illegal state aid if the adjustment plan is not endorsed in Brussels by January, 2019.

In addition, other support systems for selected industrial enterprises, such as a mechanism offsetting CO2 emission right costs, as well as the demand response mechanism (interruptability) could be blocked, the association noted.

EVIKEN estimates processing procedures for the adjustment plan will require over four months to be completed in Brussels. As a result, the plan will need to be submitted by the energy ministry as soon as possible, the association pointed out.

Details included in the adjustment plan include a reduced ETMEAR surcharge for selected industrial sub-sectors to a level measuring 15 percent of the average surcharge level valid for all consumers.

The ETMEAR surcharge for electro-intensity enterprises, defined as those whose electricity costs exceed 20 percent of gross added value, will be set at a maximum of 0.5 percent of their gross added value. Steel and cement producers may utilize this term as an energy-cost relief measure.

Energy-intensive enterprises whose electricity costs are less than 20 percent of their gross added value will be responsible for ETMEAR costs of no more than 4 percent of their gross added value, according to the adjusted terms. Few enterprises are expected to qualify for this category.

A minimum ETMEAR price of 0.3 euros per MWh will be offered for certain sectors such as the steel and aluminium industries, according to the plan.

The adjustments also include favorable terms for other sectors. ETMEAR levels for farmers, hospitals, ministries and public buildings will be set at 50 percent of the average surcharge level. A 30 percent level will be set for trains.