European Court of Justice rules in favor of Hidroelectrica in the issue of energy exports
The European Court of Justice (CJEU) ruled in favor of Hidroelectrica in the proceedings against ANRE concerning the restrictions imposed by the regulator on electricity exports in Case C-648/18 (Preliminary reference – Internal market in electricity – Free movement of goods – Article 35 TFEU – Quantitative restrictions on exports – Measures having equivalent effect – National measure requiring electricity producers to supply the entire quantity of electricity available exclusively on a centralized competitive market in the Member State concerned).
In its reasoning, the Court stated that “Articles 35 and 36 TFEU must be interpreted as meaning that national legislation which, as interpreted by its enforcement authority (ANRE), requires national electricity producers to supply the full amount available on platforms managed by the sole operator of the national electricity market designated for electricity trading services is a measure having equivalent effect to a quantitative restriction on exports, which is not likely to be justified on grounds of public security related to security of energy supply, insofar as such legislation is not proportionate to the objective pursued.
Moreover, the CJEU considered that ANRE’s interpretation had the effect of depriving Romanian electricity producers who had obtained trading licenses in other Member States, whose electricity markets have a functioning coupled with that of Romania, of the possibility to trade electricity bilaterally and, if necessary, to export it directly to these markets.
“I believe that a very important step has been taken towards normality and towards a reality for which Hidroelectrica has been fighting for many years and which it wants to be definitive – the free energy market. Liberalization eliminates the gaps between the prices on the markets in Romania and those in other Member States, the main beneficiary of this correct price being, in the end, the customer,” said Bogdan Badea, President of Hidroelectrica.
The decision of the CJEU will be submitted to the Bucharest Tribunal, which will take the final decision in the dispute between Hidroelectrica and ANRE that is taking place in Romania.