Wind Wire: Network aid

One of two EU aid packages worth EUR170 million for upgrading the Polish grid should help facilitate more wind power in the country.

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While the first package is for reducing energy losses, the second is for upgrading both the transmission and distribution networks to allow for more renewable energy. The finance packages do not break EU rules on anti-competitive state aid because "the positive effects of the scheme on the environment clearly outweigh potential distortions of competition," according to the European Commission. "The commission welcomes investments in energy infrastructure which will allow energy saving and better market access for renewable electricity," says EU competition commissioner Neelie Kroes. From Poland's economy ministry, Sylwia Wilk says the aid package will help link wind farms in the windy northern regions to load centres in the south. "We estimate that in northern Poland only 30% of the potential wind capacity is being exploited because of insufficient development in the transmission and distribution network," she says.

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