BRUSSELS, March 2 (Reuters) – The European Union Commission said Germany’s new calculations of foregone profits which utility RWE (RWEG.DE) will incur from closing some coal-fired power plants earlier than planned are “more conservative” than previously estimated, but it continued to be state aid which the EU needed to scrutinize.
The commission said it would change the scope of an ongoing investigation into the 2.6 billion euros ($2.76 billion) Berlin intends to pay to RWE for phasing out coal-fired power plants in the Rhine lignite mining area close to Cologne.
The commission had previously expressed doubts about whether it could approve the plans, which it views as state aids needing special justification, in light of anti-trust rules.
Germany last year notified the EU of its plans to accelerate the pace of the phase-out while keeping the sum to compensate the company the same while also submitting a revised calculation of RWE’s foregone profits.
“The Commission’s preliminary view is that the compensation to RWE continues to constitute State aid,” the EU body said, but it added that the revised calculation of RWE’s foregone profits submitted by Germany now appeared more conservative compared to the previous calculation.
View 2 more stories
“The Commission will now verify whether the compensation to RWE is proportionate and whether the Commission’s doubts expressed on the aid to RWE in the opening decision of March 2021 have been dispelled,” it added.
Reporting by Tassilo Hummel;
Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.