Making State Aid Work for the Decarbonisation of Europe

The project has been completed. It has made decisions of the EU Commission on state aid, relevant to climate protection and the energy transition, more transparent. Using well-documented case studies, it is now possible to understand what impact past state aid decisions have had on the energy transition.

Climate Policy Climate Strategies and Plans


Project info



Project duration:

11/17 - 12/19

Target groups:



274,522.76 €

Contact info


Matthias Buck

  • Client Earth


EU state aid decisions are an important factor in the allocation of public funds in the clean energy sector. Clean energy includes solar, hydro and wind power, but also geothermal and biomass. They are key to reducing CO2 emissions in the EU and implementing the energy transition. There was little information on the role of state aid decisions in decarbonising the economy.

Find more information and material on state aid in the context of decarbonising Europe on Client Earth’s website.

Photo: Matthias Buck, Juliette Delarue, Maria Kleis, Kevin Oswald, Sam Bright


The project has processed and made accessible past decisions on state aid. In addition, it identified key steps and elements in state aid decisions that should be improved in order to link them more closely to the achievement of European climate and energy goals.

The project implementers Agora Energiewende and Client Earth used their legal, economic and energy expertise to develop an online database of their findings. They provided communication materials for 28 case studies in six thematic areas on EU state aid decisions.

In addition, the project brought together stakeholders and climate and energy experts to exchange views on the interplay between state aid and decarbonisation in the EU. They were also able to network with the European Commission, Members of the European Parliament and national governments on this issue through the project’s communication activities in Brussels and selected Member States and regions.


  • The project analysed a total of 28 Commission decisions on state aid in six clusters: 1) capacity mechanisms 2) renewable energies 3) coal phase-out 4) CO2 pricing 5) industry 6) energy efficiency and district heating networks
  • It provided important impulses for the envisaged reform of the implementing rules for the assessment of state aid with regard to the targeted decarbonisation of the economy.

Last update: June 2024

More about this project



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12 November 2020

No money for old lignite