Posts

Onshore Wind Faces Severe Crisis In Germany

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35 new windmills have so far been build in Germany in 2019. Only 6 years ago, in 2012, there were more than 1000 new windmills per year. The onshore wind sector is the most prominent example of a flatlining energy transition and a severe renewable energy crisis, in a country that not long ago took much pride in giving the word `Energiewende´ to the world. A `Wind Summit´ of the German government now tried to revive the sector, but no discernible progress has been made. Windmill producers are criticizing a lack of legal certainty, but also say that `sweet spots´are already taken and NIMBY attitudes are on the rise.

German Fracking Commission Issued First Report

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The German `expert commission´, installed to monitor developments concerning fracking in Germany, recently issued its first annual report. So called ´unconventional fracking´ for oil and gas (fracking layers of shale-, argillite and marlstone rock strata, as well as in coal seams) is prohibited in Germany, whereas so called `conventional fracking´ (in sandstone at great depths) is allowed. By 2021 the German parliament will have to re-asses the prohibition of ´unconventional fracking´. Until then the `expert commission´, established in 2018, shall monitor the situation. In its now issued first report the commission states that no exceptional application for scientific research related to unconventional fracking trials has been made.

Summer Break

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The energy and climate law blog is on summer break. Enjoy the sun and recharge batteries! The blog returns with new analyses on energy and climate law developments by the end of August. Many thanks for your support and have a good summer time!

Dutch Cabinet Presents `Climate Accord´

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After 2 years of societal discussion the Dutch `Climate Accord´ (Klimaatakkoord), which had been released by the end of 2018, has been accepted by the Dutch government. The key point of the plan is the aim to reduce Co2 emissions to almost zero by 2050, compared to 1990 levels. The `Climate Accord´consist of hundreds of measures. The 3 most important ones will be outlined in this post. The final document can be found here (Dutch language version only).

Fundamentals of EU Energy Law Amended - `Clean Energy For All Europeans´ Package

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On 14 June 2019 the last parts of the `Clean Energy For All Europeans´- package have been published in the Official Journal of the EU and went into force. Based on Commission proposals published in November 2016, the clean energy for all Europeans package has now been published in full. After political agreement by the Council and the European Parliament in 2018 and early 2019, enabling all of the new rules to be in force by mid-2019, EU countries have 1-2 years to transpose the new directives into national law.

European General Court Dismisses `People`s Climate Case´

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On 22 May the European General Court reportedly dismissed a prominent climate case brought by  10 families from Portugal, Germany, France, Italy, Romania, Kenya, Fiji and the Swedish Saami Youth Association Sáminuorra, who claimed that the EU`s  2030 climate goals are not ambitious enough. They claimed that the EU fails to protect their fundamental rights of life, health, occupation and property. The case resembles the Dutch Urgenda case that has been discussed earlier in this blog. The General Court dismissed the case on formal grounds, rather than on the merits. The criterion of `direct and individual concern´ for citizens proved to be the crucial hurdle in the case. Plaintiffs pledged to appeal in front of the highest EU Court, the European Court of Justice (ECJ).

Iran - US Conflict Gets Out Of Hand - A Law Guide to Sanctions

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Following the further re-installment of sanctions that has been announced by the US administration, Iran decided on 8 May to leave parts of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), commonly referred to as `Iran Nuclear Deal` of 2015, in case the EU would not shield Iran against renewed US sanctions within 60 days. The withdrawal is the last step in a downwards-spiral of renewed confrontation that started 2 years ago, but the roots of which are much older. We shed light on the legal history of the conflict.