Promotion of 'Green' Electricity and International Dispute Settlement: Trade and Investment Issues
The International Lawyer, Vol. 49, No. 3 (Winter 2016), pp. 343-372
31 Pages Posted: 7 Dec 2016 Last revised: 7 Feb 2017
Date Written: 2016
The issue of greater utilization of renewables in energy supply-mix has become a priority environmental agenda in many countries. Feed-in incentives, quota schemes, public tenders and net metering are common support programmes that are designed to encourage the production and consumption of electricity generated from renewable energy sources. Promotion policies of this kind have provoked a number of international disputes at both global and regional levels. This article examines disputes brought to the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Court of Justice of the European Union (“Court of Justice”) and investor-state tribunals, and explores some intersectional implications and comparisons for the government measures in question. While implementation of “green” electricity support schemes in compliance with the respective legal regimes will definitely minimize international frictions, intensification of cross-border exchanges of renewable electricity represents an additional tool that could be used for that purpose.
Keywords: green electricity, renewable energy, subsidy, State aid, import restrictions, WTO, EU law, trade, investment
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