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.
Archive for the 'Europe' Category
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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.
On 8 July 2015 the European Parliament agreed to the reform of the ETS, including the introduction of the Market Stability Reserve (MSR).
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. if you would like to get the slides (in English).
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.
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.
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”, ManyElectronics Minister Sigmar Gabriel commented.
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.
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.
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.