Sweden faces European court challenge over exclusion policy

SWEDEN: The Swedish Energy Agency's view that only renewables facilities located within Sweden's borders should be eligible for green electricity certificates is being challenged in the EC.

The European Court of Justice... set to hear Swedish challenge
The European Court of Justice... set to hear Swedish challenge

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The Administrative Court in Linköping (Sweden) has requested a preliminary ruling from the European Court of Justice (ECJ) on the compatibility with EU law of the agency’s refusal to allocate green certificates to the Oscar wind farm, located in Finland.

The move was welcomed in a statement today by the Foundation for a Renewable Energy Transition (FRET), founded in 2009 to promote open markets in renewable energy for the whole of Europe.

Back in 2001, the ECJ ruled that the German national support system, the feed-in tariff support mechanism, infringed Article 34 of the treaty on functioning of the European Union. However, it said it could be exempted due to the immature state of the electricity market and EU liberalisation of legislation at the time.

FRET said that the situation has changed so much in the ten years since then that such an exception can no longer apply.

Other challenges

Sweden is not the only country whose energy policy is being examined by the ECJ. Last year, France's highest administrative court, the Conseil d'Etat, referred a legal challenge to the country's onshore tariff to the ECJ.

On 12 March, the rapporteur of the Conseil d'Etat called for the decree establishing the premium purchase price for onshore wind power to be annulled on the grounds that the government had not previously notified the European Commission.

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