EC approves Romania's 150 mln euro plan to back investment in green district heating systems

Source: EC representative office in Romania

BUCHAREST (Romania), November 9 (SeeNews) - The European Commission (EC) said it approved Romania's 150 million euro ($178 million) scheme to support investments in construction and/or upgrade of district heating systems based exclusively on renewable energy sources (RES).

The support scheme was approved under the EU state aid rules, the EU's executive body said in a press release on Friday.

"It will foster the switch from fossil fuel energy production to heat generation based on renewable resources, in line with the objectives of the Green Deal, EU executive vice-president in charge of competition policy Margrethe Vestager said. "This measure has been made possible also thanks to the European Green Deal's Investment Plan."

Romania notified the Commission of its plans to provide public support of up to 150 million for the construction and/or modernisation of a series of district heating generation installations and distribution networks. The planned support would take the form of direct grants financed by EU Structural Funds managed by Romania.

According to the Commission, existing district heating systems in Romania generate heat predominantly from gas or coal-fired boilers.

The measure aims at supporting investments in the district heating generation installations up to a total 60 MW of heat equivalent, enabling a fuel switch from fossil fuel energy production to heat production from renewable energy sources. This is expected to lead to an overall decrease in greenhouse gas emissions by up to 48,000 metric tonnes of CO2, as well as other polluting substances while the scheme is in place, until 2023, the Commission said.

($= 0.8423 euro)

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