Capacity Mechanisms and compliance with state aid provisions:
“The European Commission's decision from November 2017 approves, under the EU State aid rules, the new joint capacity mechanism for the jurisdictions of Ireland and Northern Ireland (which together operate as a single all-island wholesale electricity market). Under the mechanism, generators will obtain a payment for being available to generate electricity or, in the case of demand response providers, for being ready to reduce their electricity consumption to help balance demand with supply. In order to get the Commission's approval, Ireland and Northern Ireland had to demonstrate that the mechanism is necessary for ensuring security of electricity supply across the island of Ireland.
Increasing security of supply concerns and tightening capacity margins have led many EU Member States to design similar capacity measures, prompting a sector investigation by the Commission. Capacity mechanisms in Great Britain, France, Germany, Belgium, Greece, Italy and Poland have already received State aid clearance and, together with the Irish mechanism, can provide useful guidance on the hallmarks of a State aid conforming capacity mechanism design and a useful benchmark for such measures globally.”
Planning Permission, grid connections and Wind Farms:
“This High Court decision relates to an interpretation of a requirement for an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for a wind farm project. The judge, Peart J., decided that the electricity grid connection was an integral part of the project and that planning permission should not be granted for any project which is subject to an EIA and requires a connection to the national grid, unless details of the grid connection are provided and included cumulatively in the EIA process. This decision therefore provides that a project cannot be ‘split’ or evaluated under two separate EIAs, the wind farm and the grid connection infrastructure should be assessed as one project.”
“In a follow-on case to O’Grianna, the High Court halted the construction of grid connection infrastructure that had been certified as exempted development (and thus not requiring planning permission), in accordance with the statutory code. This judgment interprets the O Grianna case as meaning that once grid connection work is required for a project, those grid connection works cannot be exempted from planning permission when the project in question requires an EIA.”
EFELA - European Federation of Energy Law Associations