Retroactive feed-in tariff revisions for renewable energy producers do not conflict with European law, according to an opinion delivered by an advocate general at the European Court of Justice, PV-Magazine has reported.
Advocate general Henrik Saugmandsgaard Øe announced that Italy’s decision to amend terms of signed 20-year PV contracts in 2014 does not represent a breach of EU law, the PV-Magazine article noted.
The announcement has raised questions as to how it could impact proceedings in the Greek RES market.
Greece’s energy minister Costis Hatzidakis recently indicated tariff cuts may be needed to help counter the RES special account deficit. Industry players, including foreign investors, have reacted.
The ECJ opinion, drawn up by Øe, one of the court’s 11 advocates general, will now be considered by the court’s 27 judges before a final ruling is delivered.
EU member states are free to adapt, alter or withdraw support schemes provided renewable energy targets are met, the advocate general noted.
“I don’t consider that the operators of photovoltaic installations can rely on a legitimate expectation that there would be no change in the benefit of those incentives for the entire duration of the contracts,” Øe noted.
His opinion is expected to be welcomed by the governments of Greece, the Czech Republic, Germany and Spain, the PV-Magazine article reported.