German energy law violates European law – European Court clarified the term of a vertical integrated undertaking and decided that the federal network agency must become more independent

On 2 September 2021, the European Court decided that the German legislator has not implemented correctly requirements of the EU Electricity Directive and the EU Natural Gas Directive. In particular, the German concept of a vertically integrated undertaking is too narrow. Besides and most notably, the Federal Network Agency must become more independent. BACKGROUND The … Read more

Fit for 55 – EU aims to protect against carbon leakage with a carbon border adjustment mechanism (EU CBAM)

On 14 July 2021, the European Commission (the Commission) published its proposed regulation which would establish a carbon border adjustment mechanism (EU CBAM) (the Regulation), and is intended to come into effect, subject to transitional provisions, from 1 January 2023. The Regulation would require importers of certain goods to purchase a number of electronic certificates, … Read more

The future of lending to the oil and gas sector

Intense, continued focus on sustainability has put pressure on the oil and gas sector to openly demonstrate its efforts to effect change across the environmental, social and governance (ESG) spectrum. The sector is still a  critical one for energy transition, and for ensuring access to energy in developing markets, so it is important that the … Read more

ESMA final report on Article 8 of the EU Taxonomy Regulation

On 1 March 2021 the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) published its Final Report on advice under Article 8 of the Taxonomy Regulation. The Final Report outlines the information that non-financial undertakings and asset managers need to provide to comply with their disclosure obligations under the Non-Financial Reporting Directive (NFRD). The Taxonomy Regulation came into force … Read more

EU Commission approves Dutch State Aid for hydrogen production

Late 2020 recorded the publication at European level of significant documents and decisions in relation to hydrogen. In particular, following the Hydrogen Strategy implemented by the Commission in July 2020[1], on 11 December the Council published its conclusions on the steps to be taken to create a hydrogen market for Europe[2], on 17 December an … Read more

Batteries and waste batteries – EU proposes a new regulation

Batteries have been attracting increasing attention in Europe over the past few years. In 2017, the European Battery Alliance was launched and in 2019 the EU produced a Strategic Action Plan on Batteries, setting out Europe’s plan to gain increased independence from external influences in battery development. Interest in batteries continues to grow and, in … Read more

HSF advises Aquind on successful appeal of ACER decision before EGC

HSF has advised Aquind (developer of the Aquind electricity interconnector) on its successful appeal before the General Court of ACER’s decision to reject an application for exemption pursuant to Article 17 of Regulation (EC) No 714/2009 (the “Electricity Regulation”). In particular, the General Court found that ACER’s Board of Appeal had (i) incorrectly limited its … Read more

EU Hydrogen Strategy – a call to action

On 8 July 2020, the European Commission (the “Commission“) published its European Hydrogen Strategy (the “Hydrogen Strategy“) and launched the industry-led European Clean Hydrogen Alliance (the “ECHA” or the “Alliance“). (1) The European Hydrogen Strategy (A) Background: A Policy Framework for Energy Transition & Decarbonisation The Hydrogen Strategy sets out the Commission’s vision for how … Read more