BRUSSELS (Reuters) - EU state aid regulators approved on Friday an Irish support scheme to reserve power, known as a capacity mechanism, saying it would ensure secure electricity supply in the event of blackouts.
Under the joint Irish and Northern Irish capacity mechanism, power plants and other energy providers will be paid for making themselves available to produce power when required. The companies will be picked on the basis of auctions.
Demand response operators will also be paid for being ready to cut their consumption to help balance demand with supply.
The European Commission said the scheme complies with the bloc's rules aimed at ensuring a level playing field.
"The capacity mechanism therefore not only ensures that capacity is available, it also gives power plants an incentive to use this capacity to offer their electricity on the market when there is scarcity," the EU competition authority said.
(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Alissa)