Commission refers Austria to the CJEU for failing to transpose Renewable Energy Directive

The European Commission will bring Austria before the Court of Justice of the European Union for failing to transpose Directive 2009/28/EC, also known as the Renewable Energy Directive. The Directive aims at ensuring a 20% share of renewable energy in the EU by 2020 and had to be transposed by the Member States by 5 December 2010.

"We are committed to reaching our energy and climate targets by 2020. To this end the enforcement of the renewable energy legislation in all the Member States is vital. Renewables are a solution to global climate change, European economic growth, and security of supply issues," said Commissioner Oettinger, the EU Energy Commissioner.

The Commission proposes a daily penalty of €40 512. The penalties proposed take into account the duration and the gravity of the infringement. In case of an affirmative judgment of the Court, the daily penalty is to be paid from the date of the judgment until the transposition is completed. The final amount of the daily penalties will be decided by the Court.

The Commission has addressed the issue of non-transposition of the Directive by sending a letter of formal notice to Austria in January 2011 and a reasoned opinion in September 2012. Despite these proceedings, transposition is still pending in Austria.

Austria has already adopted a considerable amount of legislation required by the Directive. However, some provisions still remain to be transposed into national law. In particular, these provisions relate to the management of grid access for electricity from renewable sources, and to sustainability criteria for biofuels and bioliquids. 

The Commission is also examining the situation in other Member States, between them Spain, to which it has addressed, last september, letters of formal notice and/or reasoned opinions for failing to transpose the Renewable Energy Directive. 

At Holtrop S.L.P. we strongly hope that today's Commission action might be complemented by further referrals to the Court over the next months and in particular that the Commission decides to act against the Spanish state following the complaints we filed as volunteer lawyers of the Platform for a New Energy Model.