Thursday, 18 May 2017

Spain’s Winning Streak in ECT Arbitration on Renewable Energy Comes to an End as the First ICSID Award is Rendered


By Cees Verburg, PhD Researcher, Groningen Centre of Energy Law

 On 4th May the first ICSID Tribunal rendered its award in a case brought by a British and Luxembourgish investor against Spain.[1] In this case the Spanish winning streak in Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) arbitration, which consisted of victories in the Charanne v. Spain and Isolux v. Spain cases, came to an abrupt end. The Tribunal came to the conclusion that the Spanish measures, which replaced a renewable energy support scheme for a less favourable new one, amounted to a violation of the fair and equitable treatment standard of Art. 10(1) ECT. Consequently, the investors were awarded EUR 128 million in damages.

Friday, 12 May 2017

Vjosa Hydropower Project Called Off by Albanian Court

In the first-ever environmental law-suit in Albania several NGOs prevailed in stopping the government to further pursue the Vjosa dam project.  At the banks of the Vjosa, which has been described as `Europe`s last wild river´, a hydropower plant was commissioned, including a dam that was supposed to be built by a Turkish company.  The Albanian court allegedly found the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the project to be `highly deficient´.

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

The New German `Fracking´ Package

Today my latest paper called `The new German `fracking´ package was published, open access, in the Journal of Energy and Natural Resources Law. The article analyses substantial incoherencies in the new German framework on hydraulic fracturing and shale gas extraction, which went into force in February 2017. It argues that these flaws make the framework susceptible to, potentially successful, legal challenges by energy companies in the future.