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Investors call for EU protection

EUROPE: Gamesa, Enel Green Power, E.on and RES are among a group of 11 energy companies that has called on the European Union to commit to investor protection for renewables projects.

Energy companies have asked to EU to protect renewable projects against retroactive reforms
Energy companies have asked to EU to protect renewable projects against retroactive reforms

In a joint statement, the companies said that retrospective regulatory changes "erode investor confidence in the EU energy infrastructure" and lead to investors seeking redress in national courts or through international arbitration under the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT).

The statement singled out Spain, Romania, the Czech Republic, Greece and Italy for making retrospective tariff cuts, and Finland and Poland for abrupt policy reversals and withdrawal of support to projects under development.

According to the 11 companies, 50 investor-state disputes have been recorded in the past three years under the ECT, with Spain alone facing more than 25 lawsuits.

"The effects of abrupt policy changes have … contributed to the overall decline of renewable energy investment in the EU since 2010, and the collapse of investment in many countries," the statement said.

The signatories have called on the EU to introduce a permanent dispute settlement mechanism independent of national courts, and to integrate a "grandfathering" principle to prevent retroactive changes and guarantee the economic viability of existing assets.

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