Energy & Natural Resources
Recent expert reports have indicated that gas production in the Groningen field has caused earthquakes in the Netherlands' northernmost province. In response to growing concern and public discontent, the minister of economic affairs announced measures to limit production from the field. However, the measures have been received with scepticism.
Parliament is discussing a bill that will introduce a 90% discount for large power consumers on their transport and system services tariffs. The measure is a response to the German transport tariff discounts for large industries. Large-scale consumers (at least 50 gigawatt hours a year), with at least 65% plant operationality will be entitled to a correction of up to 90% on their annual electricity offtake volumes.
The European Court of Justice has ruled on preliminary questions in a dispute between three Dutch energy companies – Essent, Eneco and Delta – and the state over the compatibility of Dutch energy law and the EU Treaty. The case will now be continued before the Netherlands Supreme Court.
The Dutch Heat Act has recently been published in the Bulletin of Act and Decrees. The Heat Act applies to the supply of heat to consumers. The overarching task imposed on suppliers of heat to consumers is to ensure the reliable supply of heat against reasonable conditions at a good service provision level.
The European Court of Justice recently held that a homeowner who had photovoltaic installations on the roof of his house was entitled to deduct input value added tax (VAT) on the purchase of the panels from output VAT to be calculated on his supplies of electricity to the grid. The ruling has led to parliamentary questions to the state secretary of finance on the consequences for Dutch electricity producing household end users.
In 2012 the Dutch Supreme Court referred to the European Court of Justice preliminary questions in a dispute between three Dutch energy companies and the Dutch state over the compatibility with the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union of certain provisions in the Electricity Act 1998 and the Gas Act. Advocate General Niilo Jääskinen has now presented his legal opinion on these questions.
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