Energy communities' electricity generation, supply and sale and offering and rendering of energy services raises the question of whether they fall within the scope of the Industrial Code 1994. The answer to this question primarily depends on whether a 'profit intent' is required for electricity companies. In addition, the question of commercial activity (ie, whether a commercial licence is required) must be clarified when establishing and structuring an energy community.
In September 2020 the eagerly awaited draft Renewable Energy Expansion Act was published for evaluation. To help achieve the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement 2015, the draft creates new framework conditions for the expansion of renewable energy in Austria. This article examines key elements introduced by the act with regard to solar energy funding schemes, including calculating market premiums, the tender procedure, investment grant requirements and provisions for photovoltaic plants.
With an amendment to the Electricity Industry and Organisation Act passed by Parliament, the network reserve will become part of Austria's congestion management system. The aim of the network reserve is to achieve network stability and security of supply in an efficient and cost-effective manner. Procurement is carried out within the framework of a transparent, non-discriminatory and market-oriented tendering procedure.
The eagerly awaited draft Renewable Energy Expansion Act (EAG) was recently published for evaluation. To help achieve the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement 2015, the draft creates new framework conditions for the expansion of renewable energy in Austria. In view of the high level of funding, the EAG leaves no doubt that the expansion of renewable energies is one of Austria's main objectives for the next 10 years. However, a look at other countries clearly shows that funding alone will not be enough.
EU Regulation 2017/460 established a network code on harmonised transmission tariff structures (TAR NC). On 31 January 2019 E-Control – Austria's national regulatory authority – published its consultation document on the implementation of the TAR NC in Austria. This article discusses the subsequent developments.
Croatian state-owned electricity company HEP Group is seeking partners for renewable energy projects. To this end, the company has launched an open call for expressions of interest in the development and sale of renewable energy source (RES) projects. HEP's latest initiative relates to the development and construction of different RES projects in Croatia, as well as the integration of completed projects and those in an advanced stage of development into its power generation portfolio.
Four new exploration blocks in the Dinarides have been offered in the third licensing round for the exploration and production of hydrocarbons in Croatia. This recent licensing round of the Croatian Hydrocarbon Agency focuses on the central and southern regions. The deadline for the submission of bids is 10 September 2019 and the licences are tentatively scheduled to be announced in December 2019.
Geothermal energy has long been used for district heating in Denmark, but lately political and industry interest therein has been on the rise. This has resulted in an increase in applications to explore for and produce geothermal energy. Since 2017, five new exploration licences have been granted and five additional licences are currently being assessed by the Danish Energy Agency. Geothermal energy will help to fulfil the political goal of a carbon-neutral Denmark by 2050.
The Ministry of Climate, Energy and Utilities recently invited companies to take part in the eighth Danish licensing round for oil and gas exploration and production in the Danish North Sea. Licences were expected to be issued this summer, but political pressure on the government elected in June 2019 means that the eighth licensing round's future is uncertain.
The new government has raised the bar for climate and environmental goals with the aim of making Denmark the world leader in the transition to renewable energy. The government's climate plan calls for a significant focus on the use of wind energy and a new agreement goes even further than the 2018 energy agreement, with plans for an offshore energy island with a capacity of at least 10GW.
In 2020 the Regulatory Authority for Energy issued Decision 1426/2020 – the guarantees manual for the Electricity Transmission System Operation Code. According to Section 11.3 of the code, all persons which are registered in the Electricity Transmission System Operator Register must provide sufficient guarantees throughout the duration of the power transmission operator transactions contract for the fulfilment of their obligations under said contract.
In December 2020 a new ministerial decision was published which, among other things, amended the ministerial decision concerning the determination of a special framework of priority for the granting of permanent connection offers to renewable energy source and high-efficiency cogeneration of heat and power plants by the electricity network operator. This new legislative tool is orientated towards the fast evaluation of pending applications and the simplification of the relevant procedure as a whole.
In October 2020 Law 4736/2020 concerning the reduction of the impact of certain plastic products on the environment was published in the Official Gazette. According to Article 20 of the law, a new article has been added to Law 4416/2016 regarding the declaration of readiness for the connection of renewable energy source stations to the distribution network or transmission system.
The Regulatory Authority for Energy recently announced the commencement of the competitive procedure for determining the reference price for renewable energy source project operational support. This new cycle was launched by Decision 1648/2020 on a joint competitive bidding procedure for the selection of the photovoltaic and wind plants which will be included in the operation support scheme. Applications to participate in the auctions may be submitted until 22 March 2021.
The Ministry of Environment and Energy recently issued a decision on the formation of a working group which will prepare a proposal for the ministry on adopting the legal framework for the development and participation of electricity storage units in the electricity markets and the capacity mechanism. The decision appointed the working group members and provided that they may invite others to participate or provide an opinion.
On the back of its new electoral mandate, the Modi Sarkar 2.0 government recently presented its first budget, which proposes a number of amendments regarding electric vehicle (e-vehicle) manufacturing. Among other things, the government has proposed reducing the goods and services tax on e-vehicles, providing an additional income tax deduction on interest paid on loans taken to purchase e-vehicles and waiving customs duty on e-vehicle parts.