Breaking News: Advocate General Bot gave final opinion on the Aland European court case

29 January 2014

Existing national renewable energy support schemes are, in the opinion of the Advocate General, illegal since they are discriminating against foreign production sources.  This final opinion was released yesterday. The European Court of Justice still needs to provide the final ruling before the opinion takes effect.  This final ruling is at least a couple of months away. 

We at RECS International are of the opinion that this is a good step towards a pan-European market for renewable energy. This opinion will lead to more cost-efficient renewables production at a lower cost for consumers.

The Advocate General's conclusions can be summarized as follows:

1 ) Article 2, second paragraph k and 3.3 of the European Parliament and Council Directive 2009/28/EC of 23 April 2009 on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources and amending and subsequently repealing Directives 2001/77/EC and 2003/30/EC, should be interpreted as follows:

- National legislation under which producers of electricity from renewable energy sources are awarded green certificates, as suppliers and certain users are required to purchase a certain percentage of these certificates in relation to their total sales and use of electricity, represent a support system in the meaning of that Directive.
- The Directive allows Member States, when they set up such schemes, to decide that only plants for the production of electricity from renewable energy sources that are located within their territory may be awarded green certificates.

2 ) Article 34 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) is in contradiction with national legislation in which producers of electricity from renewable energy sources are awarded green certificates, which suppliers and certain users are required to purchase as a certain percentage of their total sales or use of electricity, in the situation that this support is not available to producers of installations located in another member state.

3 ) Article 3.3 of Directive 2009/28 is invalid in so far as Member States prohibit or limit access to their support system for producers whose facilities produce electricity from renewable energy sources but are located in another Member State.

4 ) This invalidation will be corrected two years after the judgment is entered.

[This was an unofficial translation of the Dutch text]

For the official written opinion and conclusion from Advocate-General Bot click here. Warning: at the time of publishing an English version of the official text was not available.