EU approves biomass support scheme in Portugal

By Erin Voegele | January 09, 2019

On Jan. 8, the European Commission approved, under European Union state aid rules, a scheme in Portugal to support biomass energy installations located close to forest areas regarded as critical due to the risk of fires. The new installations will be for power and combined-heat-and-power (CHP) production.

Information released by the commission indicates the support scheme aims to create an incentive for forest owners to clean at-risk forests by using forest residues to produce biomass energy. The scheme is expected to help prevent future forest fires in Portugal.

The aid will be provided in the form of a feed-in premium to the selected installations for every unit of electricity produced, along with an environmental tariff premium linked to the use of biomass from forests in critical areas.

The scheme is scheduled to run for 15 years with a budget of approximately €320 million ($369.68 million). It will be funded via an increase in energy tariffs.

According to the commission, it has determined the scheme meets the EU state aid requirements, as it will help the country increase its renewable energy production without unduly distorting competition.