AG opinion on Dutch electricity generation stranded costs

ECJ Advocate General opinion (about 24 pages in French) on litigation relating to a Dutch scheme for the recovery of electricity generators' stranded costs through regulated distribution networks. Essent, one of the distribution networks in question, was seeking to attack the scheme by alleging that it amounted to a barrier to cross-border trade prohibited by Articles 28-30, and to a State aid scheme prohibited by Article 87.

The opinion supports the logic of these claims (but the application to the facts of the case is a matter for the Dutch court).

The case on State aid is distinguished from the PreussenElektra case on the basis that Essent (like the other main Dutch distribution networks) was (and is) owned by local authorities, so that the funds in its hands were State resources.

The case of barriers to trade differs from the situation in PreussenElektra as there is no environmental protection justification for the Dutch scheme.

For further information or advice please contact Franck Latrémolière.

Filed under ECJ/CFI, Electricity, State aid.

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