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14 October 2014 | by Gabor Chodkowski-Gyurics

European Commission studies energy subsidies

European Commission studies energy subsidies
Total value of public interventions in energy market in 2012 in the EU amounted to roughly €120-140 billion, according to a new study published by the European Commission. The study concluded that the largest amounts of public support in 2012 went to renewable energy, in particular to solar (€14.7 billion) and onshore wind (€10.1 billion), followed by biomass (€8.3 billion) and hydropower (€5.2 billion).

For comparison, coal-fired power generation received €10.1 billion, followed by nuclear (€7 billion) and natural gas (about €5.2 billion). The figures do not reflect the free allocation of emission certificates nor tax support for energy consumption, the Commission noted.

“Together with the Commission’s earlier report on drivers for energy prices, we now have a set of data on subsidies and costs in the field of energy that is more solid and comprehensive than anything before,” said the Commission’s vice president for energy Günther H. Oettinger.

The study also includes figures on the cost competitiveness of different power generation technologies. The cost - excluding public intervention into account - to produce one MWh of electricity from coal is about €75, roughly on a par with onshore wind energy.

The cost of 1 MWh from nuclear and natural gas are comparable, ranging around €100/MWh. Solar power cost has fallen to about €100-115/MWh since 2008, depending on the size of installations.


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