ECJ indicates EU member states free to revise signed feed-in tariff contracts


The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has signaled its agreement with the opinion published by one of its advocates-general in October, that EU member state governments are free to revise the payment levels of feed-in tariff (FIT) contracts signed with renewables developers.

Advocate-general Henrik Saugmandsgaard Øe had stated a move by the Italian government in 2014 to reduce FIT payments for solar projects conflicted with neither the right to conduct business or to own property guaranteed by the bloc's Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU, nor with the EU Energy Charter.

The lawyer was addressing linked complaints made by the Federazione Nazionale Imprese Elettroniche ed Elettrotecniche (ANIE) parent body of Italian renewables association ANIE Rinnovabili, and by solar plant operators led by the Athesia Energy subsidiary of South Tyrolean publisher-cum-energy-company Athesia Group.

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The ECJ's judges on Thursday backed that opinion when referring the matter back to the Regional Administrative Court of Lazio, in Italy, to reach a final decision.

Advocate-general Øe's opinion had been reached after input from the European Commission and the governments of Czechia, Germany, Greece and Spain.

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