Latest updates

ComCo opens up gas market in central Switzerland
Lenz & Staehelin
  • Switzerland
  • 06 July 2020

The Swiss Competition Commission (ComCo) recently reviewed whether Energie Wasser Luzern Holding AG and Erdgas Zentralschweiz AG had a dominant position in the natural gas market and whether their refusal to grant grid access qualified as an unlawful refusal to deal. The undertakings ultimately concluded a consensual settlement with ComCo which – combined with the future Gas Supply Act – will likely improve competition in the gas supply market.

Gas Flaring and Minerals and Mining Bills undergo second reading
Streamsowers & Köhn
  • Nigeria
  • 06 July 2020

Two bills relating to the oil and gas industry recently passed their second reading in the Senate and the House of Representatives, respectfully. The Gas Flaring Bill seeks to prohibit gas flaring in Nigeria, while the Minerals and Mining Bill seeks to establish a regulatory framework for the Nigerian mining industry in line with international best practices and create a regulatory authority which will be responsible for ensuring fair competition and encouraging investments in the mining sector.

Consultations on TAR NC and second amendment to Gas System Charges Ordinance
Schoenherr
  • Austria
  • 22 June 2020

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.

What security options are available for lenders to offshore wind projects?
Advokatfirmaet Simonsen Vogt Wiig AS
  • Norway
  • 15 June 2020

Equinor's pioneering Hywind Tampen project – set to become the biggest floating wind farm in the world – marks the first foray into offshore wind production in Norway. There are high hopes for the potential of this industry in a country with a long coastline and considerable offshore energy production expertise. However, a number of issues must be resolved in order for offshore wind production to become a commercially viable industry in Norway.

Energy audits – Dutch approach
Stek
  • Netherlands
  • 01 June 2020

Energy audits are essential for assessing existing energy consumption and identifying potential energy-saving measures. They allow companies to identify and prioritise opportunities for improvement, thereby bridging the information gap, which is one of the main barriers to energy efficiency. Various EU countries, including the Netherlands, have taken measures to promote energy audits among companies. This article provides an overview of energy audits and the applicable Dutch reporting requirements.

Modernisation of environmental law and simplification of RES production licensing
Rokas Law Firm
  • Greece
  • 25 May 2020

Parliament recently passed a law modernising environmental legislation and harmonising Greek law with EU Directives 2018/844 and 2019/692. The law contains new legislative measures which will significantly amend, standardise and simplify the current licensing procedure for renewable energy power plants – particularly the procedure for obtaining a renewable energy source production licence and an environmental approval.

COVID-19 Weekly Report (11-17 May 2020)
International Law Office
  • International
  • 19 May 2020

The impact of COVID-19 is being felt in almost every work area across the globe. In order to keep readers abreast of this evolving situation, ILO's COVID-19 Weekly Report provides insight into the major legal developments of the past seven days, as well as a round-up of our panel of experienced international legal commentators' legislative and regulatory guidance.

Strengthening of domestic renewable energies and liberalisation of electricity market
Lenz & Staehelin
  • Switzerland
  • 18 May 2020

A consultation on the revised Electricity Supply Act has shown that a majority of people support a full market opening, but that more incentives for investment in domestic renewable energies and planning security are desired. The amendments envisaged by the Federal Council will enable Switzerland to increase electricity production from renewable energies, better integrate such electricity into the electricity market and strengthen its supply security.

DPR issues COVID-19 circular and declares pandemic event of force majeure
Streamsowers & Köhn
  • Nigeria
  • 11 May 2020

After the president issued regulations directing a lockdown of areas where oil and gas companies' head offices are located, the Department of Petroleum Resources issued a circular to ensure the safety and welfare of all personnel and contain the spread of COVID-19, directing that all operators and their contractors must comply with the directives of government authorities on measures such as social distancing, curfews and lockdowns and that the current situation constitutes force majeure.

FIP programme introduced
Nishimura & Asahi
  • Japan
  • 04 May 2020

The proposed amendment to the Act on Special Measures Concerning the Procurement of Renewable Energy-Sourced Electricity by Electric Utilities will introduce a feed-in premium (FIP) programme. The proposed FIP programme provides that power producers will receive a premium in addition to the market price for the electricity which they generate instead of the fixed electricity price determined by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry under the current feed-in-tariff programme.

The Netherlands as a green hydrogen hub: government presents views on future of hydrogen
Stek
  • Netherlands
  • 20 April 2020

The government considers green (ie, carbon-free) hydrogen to be essential for achieving its energy transition goals and maintaining energy-intensive industries and wishes to improve the business climate for green hydrogen in the Netherlands. As such, the minister of economic affairs and climate policy recently published the government's Outlook on Hydrogen, which sets out the government's medium and long-term policy objectives in this respect.

Impact of Civil Code reform on energy and natural resource transactions
Nishimura & Asahi
  • Japan
  • 06 April 2020

In 2017 the Civil Code, which was enacted in 1896, was substantially amended for the first time in more than a century. Although the amendments, which came into effect on 1 April 2020, cover a broad range of issues, many were made to reflect existing case law and commonly accepted interpretations of the pre-amended Civil Code. However, there are some changes which may affect current practices in the energy sector.

Solar FIT decommissioning fee
Nishimura & Asahi
  • Japan
  • 30 March 2020

Since April 2018, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) has required business operators involved in solar power generation to set aside a certain amount of funds in preparation for the decommissioning of solar power plants. However, as of January 2019, less than 5% of business operators had complied with this rule. As such, METI established a working group to tackle the problems with the discretionary decommissioning reserve regime.

Supreme Court clarifies contractual penalties for energy consumers
Kubas Kos Gałkowski
  • Poland
  • 30 March 2020

The Supreme Court recently held that imposing a contractual penalty on energy consumers due to the early termination of a contract for energy supply is prohibited. This latest ruling seems to change the current interpretation of the legal provisions on the possibility of imposing a contractual penalty on acceptance in the case of early termination of a contract which was concluded for a fixed period.

Capacity Market: consultation on future improvements
CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP
  • United Kingdom
  • 30 March 2020

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy recently ran its Capacity Market consultation on future improvements. Following the consultation, the government will now seek to make the necessary amendments to the Electricity Capacity Regulations and the Capacity Market Rules, before the prequalification window for the T-4 2024/25 and T-1 2021/22 auctions open in Summer 2020.

COVID-19 Weekly Report (23-30 March 2020)
International Law Office
  • International
  • 30 March 2020

The impact of COVID-19 is being felt in almost every work area across the globe. In order to keep readers abreast of this evolving situation, ILO's COVID-19 Weekly Report provides insight into the major legal developments of the past seven days, as well as a round-up of our panel of expert international legal commentators' legislative and regulatory guidance.

Cabinet approves Renewable Energy Act amendment bill
Nishimura & Asahi
  • Japan
  • 23 March 2020

Cabinet recently approved the Proposal to Amend the Electricity Business Act for the Purposes of Establishing a Resilient and Sustainable Electricity System. The bill introduces a feed-in premium programme, under which energy developers developing projects after April 2022 may receive a certain premium on top of the market price for the electricity that they generate.

Impact of coronavirus on solar projects
Nishimura & Asahi
  • Japan
  • 23 March 2020

It appears inevitable that the coronavirus pandemic will affect Japan's solar energy industry. For example, China's public health measures may have an adverse effect on the shipment of photovoltaic modules and other equipment manufactured there, on which many Japanese developers rely. Further, if the government declares a national emergency, this may inhibit engineering, procurement and construction contractors' ability to perform their obligations to develop and construct solar projects.

COVID-19 Weekly Report (16-22 March 2020)
International Law Office
  • International
  • 23 March 2020

The impact of COVID-19 is being felt in almost every work area across the globe. In order to keep readers abreast of this evolving situation, ILO's COVID-19 Weekly Report provides insight into the major legal developments of the past seven days, as well as a round-up of our panel of expert international legal commentators' legislative and regulatory guidance.

Are floating solar and wind installations the new frontiers of renewable energy?
Norton Rose Fulbright Studio Legale
  • Italy
  • 16 March 2020

Floating solar and wind farms are power production installations mounted on structures or platforms that float on a body of water. In a country such as Italy, where the targets to produce electricity from green sources are ambitious and must coexist with the need to safeguard agriculture and the landscape, floating solar and wind installations present a new but challenging opportunity.

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