Energie en nutsvoorzieningen Dorhout Advocaten

Energy & utilities

Energie en nutsvoorzieningen Dorhout Advocaten

The Northern Netherlandsprovinces are the incubation region for clean, reliable and innovative energy. Companies, knowledge institutes and provincial governments collaborate closely in concrete projects to work towards a future-proof energy economy and to develop the North of the Netherlands into THE Energy Valley of Europe. With over €23 billion in energy projects, the region and particularly the Eemshaven, plays a key role. Some concrete current developments include the ‘smart grids’, ‘smart measurement’, E-loading (charging points for electric cars), more and improved wind farms, the conversion to green gas, solar power and energy storage.

The huge economic boost is creating a growth market. As a result of this boost, a changing energy market and energy legislation, major developments are underway in the energy sector. Developments that regularly encounter a legal restriction. This will be even more so after introduction of the “third energy package”, new European legislation, which, to sum up briefly, aims to create more options, more investments and greater security for the European energy market. This means many new laws on a macro level.

Furthermore, there are local developments, the emergence of energy corporations and a lack of case law regarding future developments in the energy market and this in turn gives rise to many legal questions. The answers to these questions are important for the success of the transition from a purely central energy supply to a combination of centralized and decentralized generation and storage of energy.

We are involved with a number of regional centres of expertise, such as the Groningen Centre of Energy Law, the Energie Kenniscentrum of Hanzehogeschool (Hanzehogeschool Energy Knowledge Centre), EnergyValley and the Hansa Energy Corridor. Through the contact and cooperation with these centres, including for legal advice, information is exchanged about all developments within this sector.

The collaboration with the University of Groningen and the engagement of PhD student Daisy Tempelman guarantee an even better understanding of what is happening within the energy industry. The membership of NeVER (Dutch Association for Energy and Law) contributes to this.

Our firm assists companies that operate in the energy industry. These are not only the companies that focus ‘purely’ on energy, but also suppliers and housing corporations (who work with energy on a local level), for example. The team members of our Businesses & Government team each have their own input in the issues at stake. They are aware of the complex legislation, the developments and the functioning of the entire energy value chain. This also includes knowledge that is important for all players in the field; the production, distribution, storage and supply companies. In other words, an integrated approach.

Please contact Hans Koenders for questions about this sector.

Are the rates of the regional network manager fixed?

No. From January 2015 the rates charged by the network operators (Distribution System Operators, DSOs) for Gas and Electricity fell sharply. This is evidenced by the tariff decisions of November 27, 2014 taken by the Dutch Authority for Consumers & Markets (ACM) for the period 2015. Transport of gas and electricity via the regional grid is part of the energy bill of consumers and businesses.

Per grid tariff developments may differ. The average drop of 5.6% on the electricity bill and average 3% for the gas bill results from a low interest rate for capital acquisition and that ACM believes that operators can work more efficiently. In addition, the ACM has found errors in the records of a number of network operators, which are now well reflected in the rates.

The network operators and other interested parties can appeal against these tariff decisions. However, objection to the rate decisions do not affect the changes in the tariff for 2015 in the first instance. Should the complaint be well-founded, then any overpaid or underpaid will be deducted in future tariffs. (Source: ACM)

Dorhout Advocaten participates in the Flexinet project of Hanzehogeschool

Flexinet is a research project of market parties and knowledge institutes. The central theme of the research is the local generation, storage and supply of energy and how to achieve this. Several sub-topics have been formulated, called work packages (for example, local storage and network integration). Dorhout Advocaten supports each work package and examines whether the results of the work packages are legally tenable.