Archive for the 'Europe' Category

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EFSI Fund for Kick-starting Investment under Juncker Plan Ready to Operate in Early Autumn 2015

The European Commission today announced that it took important decisions to ensure that the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) can start operations in early autumn 2015. It is the main instrument under The Investment Plan for Europe (also called Juncker Plan) aimed to kick-start investment in strategic projects, including energy-related projects, unlocking investment of at least EUR 315 billion in the period 2015 to 2017.

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German and Austrian Energy Providers File Legal Action Against Hinkley Point C State Aid Approval

Ten municipal utilities and green power providers on 15 July 2015 filed a legal action with the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg against the state aid approval by the European Commission for the Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant in the United Kingdom.

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EU Parliaments Adopts Reform on European Emission Trading Scheme

On 8 July 2015 the European Parliament agreed to the reform of the ETS, including the introduction of the Market Stability Reserve (MSR).

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Research Seminar Current Events in Energy Law – English Slides Available

On 18 June 2015 I gave a presentation at Freie Universität Berlin (FU Berlin) on “Current Events in Energy Law” for the Master of Business, Competition and Regulatory Law Programme. Please let me know if you would like to get the slides (in English).

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Commission: EU on the Whole on Track to Meet 20% Renewable Energy Target, 10% Renewable Energy in Transport Target Challenging But Feasible

The latest renewable energy progress report by the European Commission shows that with a projected share of 15.3% of renewable energy in the gross final energy consumption in 2014 the EU on the whole is on track to meet its 20% renewable energy target for 2020. Reaching the 10% renewable energy target in the transport sector is somewhat more challenging yet feasible the Commission says in view of a projected share of 5.7% in 2014.

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Deutsche Börse and Five European Power Exchanges Agree to Create Central Platform for Pan-European Intraday Power Market

The five European exchanges APX/Belpex, EPEX SPOT, GME, Nord Pool Spot and OMIE involved in the European Cross Border Intraday Initiative (XBID) signed a contract with Deutsche Börse on 9 June 2015 for a central platform for a pan-European intraday power market to be developed by Deutsche Börse. The XBID platform is expected to launch in 2017.

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Germany and Eleven Neighbours Sign Declaration for Regional Cooperation on Security for Electricity Supply

On Monday, Germany and eleven neighbours have signed the “Declaration for Regional Cooperation on Security of Electricity Supply in the Framework of the Internal Energy Market”. “Today, 12 neighbouring states in the heart of Europe have decided to usher in a new era of energy policy.: They want to start considering energy security as a european issue, rather than a purely national one”, German Energy Minister Sigmar Gabriel commented.

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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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Commission Approves Amendments to EEG 2014 Including EEG Surcharge Reductions for Two More Industries

The European Commission has found amendments proposed by Germany to the Renewable Energy Act (EEG 2014) to be in line with EU state aid rules, in particular the 2014 Energy and Environmental Aid guidelines (EEAG). This includes the extension of the provisions under which energy-intensive companies can claim a reduction of the Renewable Energy Surcharge (EEG-surcharge) to two more sectors.

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Commission State Aid Sector Inquiry into Capacity Mechanisms: More Important than Many May Think, Particularly in Germany

On 29 April 2015 the European Commission launched its first sector inquiry under EU state aid rules into national capacity mechanisms. The aim is to collect information that will allow the Commission to detect potential distortions of competition or trade in the EU single market and devise appropriate legislative iniatives for an electricity market design in line with the EU’s Energy Union Strategy. The inquiry is broader than many may think: It is by no means restricted to what has been discussed under the “capacity market” heading in Germany recently, but for example also covers key elements of the “electricity market 2.0” option as it also contains important capacity reserve elements. As the inquiry may also provide the basis for future state aid actions and policy decisions of the Commission (which may also include repayment of unlawful state aid), the inquiry should not be underestimated.

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