Archive for the 'Court' Category

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Biogas Operator Launches Constitutional Complaint Against Biogas Provision in the Renewable Energy Sources Act 2014

An operator of a biogas plant has launched a constitutional complaint against a provision in the Renewable Energy Sources Act as applicable since 1 August 2014 (EEG 2014) that limits EEG support for biogas plants also for plants that started operating before that date. The operator is backed by the Renewables Assocation Nachhaltige Energie e.V.

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CJEU Declares German Nuclear Fuel Rod Tax Compatible with EU Law – German Constitutional Court Decision Still to Come

Today the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) issued a judgement that declared the German nuclear fuel rod tax (KernbrStG) compatible with EU law. The judgement did not come as much of a surprise as Advocate General Maciej Szpunar had already delivered a similar opinion in February. For the German nuclear power operators, however, it is another setback, leaving them only the hope that the pending lawsuit with the Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe will have a favourable outcome.

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OLG Düsseldorf Annuls Two BNetzA Decisions on Redispatch Measures and Compensation

Two decisions by the federal grid regulator (BNetzA) concerning compensation for interventions in the operation of conventional power plants by the transmission system operations to stabilise the grids (so-called redispatch measures), were annulled by the 3rd Cartel Senate of the Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf (OLG Düsseldorf) informed yesterday.

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E.ON Informs Regulator of Plans to Shut Down Highly Efficient CCGT Irsching Power Plants – Legal Action Considered in Case of Prohibition

E.ON, HSE, Mainova, and N-ERGIE have announced that they informed the Federal Network Agency (BNetzA) of its plans to take the high-efficiency combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power plants Irsching 4 and 5 offline effective 1 April 2016. The utilities said that the two CCGTs had no prospect of operating profitably when the current contract with the network operator expires in March 2016. They announced to consider legal action if the shutdown would be prohibited based on the Ordinance on Reserve Power Plants.

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European Commission Takes Germany to Court for Coal-fired Power Plant in Hamburg on Habitats Directive Arguments

Only about a month after the first 827 MW unit of Vattenfall’s coal-fired power plant in Hamburg-Moorburg started commercial production, the European Commission announced to launch proceedings against Germany before the Court of Justice of the EU over its alleged failure to apply the requirements of the Habitats Directive when authorising the plant.

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Germany Takes Legal Action Against Decision by European Commission that Cleared EEG 2012 to Clarify State Aid Requirements

On 2 February 2015 the German government took legal action against a decision by the European Commission of 25 November 2014. The decision qualified the Renewable Energy Sources Act 2012 (EEG 2012) as state aid, but for the most part found it to be in line with EU state aid rules. The government is seeking clarification whether the EEG 2012 constitutes state aid as well as on the interpretation of the term state aid under European law as such. The amendment of the EEG 2012, the EEG 2014 that has been in force since 1 August 2014 and was approved by the Commission in July 2014, is not part of the legal action.

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Legal Action Against Bavarian 10H Minimum Distance Regulation for Wind Power

The German Wind Energy Association (BWE) has announced that its Bavarian section officially supports an lawsuit by Pro Windkraft against two recent minimum distant rules in the Bavarian Building Regulations (Bayerische Bauordnung). The articles challenged prescribe a minimum distance of wind power plants to residential housing of ten times the total height of the wind power plant. BWE also criticised the outcome of an energy dialogue organised by the Bavarian government which BWE thinks is likely to hinder further wind power growth, as Bavaria is questioning the planned expansion of the German transmission grids.

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EU Advocate General Argues Against RWE and E.ON in Case About Nuclear Fuel Rod Tax – CJEU and Federal Constitutional Court Still Have to Decide

The fight of German nuclear power plant operators RWE and E.ON against the nuclear fuel rod tax suffered a setback. Yesterday, Advocate General Maciej Szpunar delivered an opinion for the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in which he said that the tax neither violated EU legislation on energy products including electricity nor on excise taxes. He also dismissed a violation of EU state aid law and the Euratom Treaty. CJEU is not bound by his opinion and still has to decide. Besides, legal action against the nuclear fuel rod tax is still pending at the Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe. The multi-billion legal fight is therefore not over yet.

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OVG Schleswig Declares Amendment of Regional Plan 2012 Designating Areas for Onshore Wind Power Partly Invalid

Amendments of the Regional Plan 2012 for the State of Schleswig-Holstein in Northern Germany are invalid regarding the planning areas I and III that designate areas suitable for onshore wind power, the Higher Administrative Court of Schleswig -Holstein (OVG Schleswig) ruled. The Court found the amendments flawed for procedural as well as material reasons.

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Revocation of Permit for Nuclear Interim Storage Site Brunsbüttel Binding – State will Tolerate Operation until 2018

The Federal Administrative Court (BVerwG) has rejected an appeal by the Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS) against an earlier judgement that revoked the permit for the nuclear interim storage site in Brunsbüttel, Schleswig-Holstein. The revocation is therefore legally binding. However, due to a decision issued by Energy Minister Dr. Robert Habeck of Schleswig-Holstein, the operation of the interim storage site will be tolerated until the beginning auf 2018.

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