The Court of Justice (ECJ) has said it plans to deliver its judgement in C-573/12 Ålands Vindkraft on 1 July.
This is a significant case with potentially big implications for the internal energy market and ‘energy transition’, particularly if the Court follows the same line as a preparatory opinion issued earlier this year.
At the heart of the matter is the application of treaty rules on the free movement of goods inside the EU and if a part of the 2009 renewables framework law is consistent with these.
The initial dispute arose when a firm in Finland’s Åland Islands (see map) was refused access to a Swedish renewable energy support scheme, even though its output would have been grid-connected to Sweden.
Since the Swedish court felt it could not resolve the issue alone in 2012, it referred certain questions to the ECJ in Luxembourg. For earlier reporting, see Reuters 28 January and Reuters 17 March as well as the Court source documents linked above.
The case is more significant, I think, as the principles at stake apply also to other types of public intervention in EU energy markets. For example, some national administrations that are considering to expand system adequacy payment schemes must at least now ask themselves if they will permit generators in neighbouring territories to participate. Easier said than done. We see.