Two of Germany`s biggest utility companies, E.On and RWE, yesterday announced plans to restructure their assets. Germany`s electricity market is liberalized, but still dominated by four big oligopolistic companies. Two of the four companies are now going to coordinate their activities even more to create monopoly-like structures in particular areas. According to the plans, RWE is only focussing on electricity production in the future, whereas E.On is going to deal only with electricity transmission and distribution as well as end-user supplies and will cease its electricity generation activities. The plans still need to be approved by European competition authorities and the German Federal Cartel Office. German municipalities reported to be highly sceptical of the deal.
Sunday, 11 March 2018
Thursday, 1 March 2018
Thursday, 8 February 2018
German Federal Court of Justice (BGH) on Stricter Duties For Suppliers of Last Resort - Case Comment BGH VIII ZR 148/17
The German Federal Court of Justice (BGH) recently ruled on the responsibilities of electricity companies that are acting as `suppliers of last resort´ towards German electricity customers. Until now their responsibilities stopped at the meter in the house of customers. This is about to change in certain cases. The judgement can have repercussions for the appraisal of supplier of last resort-duties in other European jurisdictions.
Wednesday, 31 January 2018
By Joris Gazendam, LLM, PhD Researcher University of Groningen
On 23 January 2018 the Court of Appeal Arnhem-Leeuwarden ruled in a case between claimants living in the province of Groningen and the Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij (hereinafter: NAM). The case revolved around damages as a result of earthquakes which are caused by the extraction of natural gas in the province of Groningen. The main legal question was whether the owners of houses can claim compensation for the devaluation of their houses even if they do not sell their (whether or not physically damaged) houses. Normally, the financial loss for the owner of a house becomes visible on the moment of sale. In this case the owners explicitly wanted to be compensated even if they would not sell their house. The Court of Appeal ruled that an owner of a house can only once claim compensation for damages. Parties are free to decide on a reference date on which the depreciation is to be determined. On this date a real estate expert has to establish how much the house has decreased in value due to the earthquakes. On the reference date the potential future devaluation of the house, due to future earthquakes, is to be incorporated in the sum of the damages.
Monday, 29 January 2018
Monday, 15 January 2018
In September 2017 Germany held general elections, but there still is no new government yet. After talks between the Conservatives (CDU/CSU), the Liberals (FDP) and the Greens broke down last year, Angela Merkel is trying to form a governmental `grand coalition´ between CDU/CSU and the Social Democrats (SPD). Both parties recently ended exploratory negotiations and issued a joint statement on 12 January 2018 that gives a first indication of Germany´s policy plans for the next 4 years. Although the paper is not yet a full-fledged coalition agreement, it nonetheless details the main policy lines that the possible new German government is intending to follow. So what does it have to say on energy and the climate ?
Thursday, 14 December 2017
Building on the presentations held at the annual European Energy Law Seminar taking place every January in The Hague (NL), this book reviews central energy law issues from a national, EU and international perspective. It has been an honour for me to contribute a chapter on ´Shale Gas and the EU´ (chapter XIV). The book is available from Intersentia here. The Table of Contents can be found here.