Brussels backs German clean energy scheme

27 Jul 18

Brussels has pledged to give €500m to a German scheme that supports railway companies which invest in clean energy.

The move will promote a shift of freight traffic from road to rail and a reduction of CO2 emissions, the European Commission said.

Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, who is in charge of competition policy, said: “Electrically powered rail transport is one of the most environmentally friendly transport options.

“By promoting a shift from road to rail, the German scheme will contribute to meeting the EU’s environmental and transport objectives, without distorting competition.”

In January, Germany outlined details of the scheme to make rail transport more cost and energy efficient. Its overall budget is set at €500m and it will run until 2022.

Under the plan, companies that provide electrically powered rail transport services may be compensated for up to 50% of expenses incurred from energy-efficiency measures, the commission said.

To benefit from the public funds, rail transport companies have to demonstrate a year-on-year improvement of 1.75% in their energy efficiency, with this going up to 2% from 2020.

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