The European Commission has a vital role in formulating EU energy policy – but it is not a Government. It has far less executive power than many assume. One of the few executive powers it has relates to supervision (and prior approval) of support by Member States to companies or sectors of the economy. The EU refers to such support as 'State aid'.
The State aid regime gives the Commission the power to intervene where Member States wish to use public money to support major new investments – including nuclear new build. We are currently seeing such intervention with respect to the Hinkley Point C project in the UK. Potential investors in UK nuclear new build will need to understand and interact with the State aid regime if they are to be successful. This memorandum looks at the background of State aid and considers the possible options open to potential investors in the UK nuclear industry to maximize the likelihood of a positive outcome for their project.
View full memo, State Aid—Impact on Nuclear New Build in the EU