Renewable electricity generators must compete for subsidies from 2017, the European Commission has confirmed.
The move is one of a number of changes in a radical overhaul of state aid rules for new renewable subsidies announced on 9 April.
The commission has acted to limit the rising cost of the subsidies and safeguard market competition.
“It is time for renewables to join the market,” said commission competition policy vice president, Joaquín Almunia. “Europe should meet its ambitious energy and climate targets at the least possible cost for taxpayers and without undue distortions of competition in the single market."