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Electricity Generation and State Aid: Compatibility Is The Question

Daniel Pérez Rodríguez

It was once thought that aid given through the electric system to electricity generators did not constitute State resources, and thus, it was excluded from the Commission’s State aid control. However, time has shown that this was not the general rule, but rather an exception, due to the specific factual circumstances of the analysed measure in PreussenElektra. At least this was the case for the Court of Justice of the European Union, to whose case law the Commission has adapted swiftly. At the moment, it is clear that almost all measures to support electricity generation need to be authorised by the Commission. Hence, focus has shifted to the question of whether a measure is compatible with the internal market rules. In 2014, Commission Guidelines were approved in this field, which are applicable for aid to renewables and aid to generation adequacy, whereas aid to nuclear and coal are still analysed under general State aid rules.
Keywords: State Resources; Imputability; Energy Generation; Proportionality.

Daniel Pérez Rodríguez, LL.M (College of Europe), Lawyer at Holtrop S.L.P. Transaction & Business Law, E-mail: Disclaimer: the law firm the author works at is involved or might be involved in cases SA.40348 and SA.41690 concerning State aid in Spain. However, as no formal decision has been adopted so far in relation to these cases, they are only mentioned, not commented, throughout this article.


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