Judgment published in Essent Belgium NV C-204/12 to C-208/12: green certificates, guarantees of origin and free movement of goods (Court of Justice of the EU)

"La boucle est bouclée" one can say, at least for the moment.

The Court of Justice of the European Union has delivered on 11 September 2014 its judgment in the joined Cases C-204/12 to C-208/12 involving Essent Belgium NV.

The case is a reference for preliminary ruling from a Belgium first instance Court to the Court of Justice. It involves questions on the free movement of goods (electricity), the existence of barriers to that free movement due to territorial restrictions (only regional generation qualifies to support), and interaction between green certificates and guarantees of origin under that support scheme.


Swedish tax exemption for self-produced wind power may breach EU state aid rules

The difference in tax regime for electricity generation between Norway and Sweden has been heavily discussed the last few years, and in particular after the start of the joint green certificates market in January 2012. A new legal argument is now supporting the idea of a rapid review of the Swedish regime, based on a survey ordered by industry associations.

The Swedish tax exemption regime for self-produced wind power

A legal note ordered by the Swedish District Heating Association and Energy Norway (Energi Norge) concludes that the current tax exemption regime applicable in Sweden to self-generated wind power is in breach with EU state aid rules.


First analysis of the Åland Vindkraft judgment (EU Court of Justice)

I published a detailed comment on the Åland Vindkraft decision of the EU Court of Justice (C-573/12) for ECOHZ.

Read the full article on ECOHZ website here.
"The EU Court of Justice rules in favour of Sweden in the Åland Vindkraft case: no mandatory opening of national support schemes for the time being. Read Catherine Banet's comment on the EU Court of Justice decision.
In a landmark decision delivered on 1 July, the Court of Justice of the European Union deems the Swedish green certificates scheme conform to EU law. It confirms that, based on the Renewable Energy Directive 2009/28/EC and the Treaties, national governments can continue restricting access to their support schemes to renewable electricity generated on their territory. ... " 


First reaction on the Åland Vindkraft Case (in Norwegian)

The Norwegian business newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (www.dn.no) asked for my first reaction after the release of the European Court of Justice decision in the Åland Vindkraft case on 1 July 2014 (see previous post).
Read the interview here.
Reference: "Kan puste lettet ut", Dagens Næringsliv, 2 July 2014.


Judgment of the EU Court of the Justice in the Åland Vindkraft Case (C-573/12): the Court of Justice backs the restrictive nature of national support schemes for renewables, based on environmental protection

The Court of Justice of the European Union has delivered on 1 July 2014 its decision in the Åland Vindkraft Case (C-573/12). The Court rules in favour of Sweden, and deems the Swedish national support scheme, a green certificates scheme, conform to EU law, although it constitutes a measure having equivalent effect to a quantitative restriction. Because the measure aims to promote renewable energy sources and act on greenhouse gases emissions that the EU and its Member States are internationally committed to reduce, the Court confirms that Member States can maintain territorial restrictions to access their national support schemes as long as the measure is proportional.
The full text of judgement is available on Curia here.
Reference: Judgment of the Court (Grand Chamber) of 1 July 2014 in Case C-573/12, Ålands Vindkraft AB v Energimyndigheten


Guidelines on state aid for environmental protection and energy (2014-2020) published in the EU Official Journal

The newly adopted Guidelines on state aid for environmental protection and energy (2014-2020) have now been published in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) of 28 June 2014, C/200, p.1.
Access the full document here.


Russia files dispute against EU 3rd Energy Package before the WTO : Request for consultations by Russia now available

On 30 April 2014, the World Trade Organization (WTO) received a request for consultations from the Russian Federation against the European Union and its legislation regarding the Third Energy Package and implementing legislation by Member States. See previous post.
The text of the request as submitted by Russia is now available on the WTO website here.


Speaking at Norway Wind Development Forum (5 May 2014, Oslo)

On 5 May 2014, I will be discussing legal issues related to the licensing, permitting and contracting of wind power projects at Norway Wind Development Forum (Radisson Blu Hotel Nydalen, Oslo). My own presentation will focus on Grid connection rules for onshore wind power in Norway.
More on the event:  here.