Renewable energies and regulated tariffs in the law on Energy & Climate
21 November 2019
Client Alert | France | Public Law, Energy & Environment
Law No. 2019-1147 of 8 November 2019 on energy and climate was published in France's Official Journal dated 9 November 2019. It comes about in a context of increasing consideration for climate-related imperatives, and in particular with regard to the transposition of the "Clean energy for all Europeans" package. The new provisions, focusing on the implementation into French law of the Paris Agreement - that entered into force on 4 November 2016 - have been ruled compliant with the Constitution by the French Constitutional Council (Conseil constitutionnel), albeit subject to a reserve of interpretation.
The “energy-climate” bill, submitted to the National Assembly (Assemblée Nationale) on 30 April 2019, has been considerably supplemented by parliamentary work. The Law on climate and energy deals with a number of subjects:
it significantly overhauls various goals of the national energy policy, notably inspired by guidance outlined during the setting up of the Multi-annual Energy Plan (Programmation pluriannuelle de l’énergie, or PPE);
the aforementioned objectives are formalised in climate-oriented provisions, specifically the shutting down of coal-fired power plants. Furthermore, obligations on energy efficiency in buildings are reinforced, as are measures fostering renewable energies;
the law also revamps the legal regime applicable to environmental evaluations. Specifically, the “environmental authority” becomes “the authority in charge of the case-by-case assessment” and any irregularities may, from here on in, be normalised in the course of proceedings;
provisions to tackle energy-saving certificate fraud (certificats d’économies d’énergies, or CEE) are set out in the reform, with salient features including the speeding up of processes and the strengthening of controls. As a reminder, CEEs incentivise sector players to foster energy-saving measures;
the Law transposes part of the "Clean energy for all Europeans" package. The remainder will be introduced into French Law within 3 to 12 months, by government ordinance;
the law devotes a chapter to the reform of procedures before the Dispute Settlement and Sanctions Committee (CoRDiS) and the Commission for the Regulation of Energy (CRE) to “reinforce the efficiency of the right to judicial remedy, of the rights of the defence and of the principle of a contradictory procedure” and to enable the CRE to appear before French courts (Article 57);
lastly, the law on climate and energy deals with regulated tariffs for gas and electricity, notably by putting an end to this mechanism for gas.
This law handles a number of current issues in the energy sector. For the remainder, the government is empowered to add to its provisions through forthcoming ordinances.
To find out more and read the publication in full, please click on the PDF file below.