25 janvier 2021

Energy Community Forum : Competition Law in the Energy Sector

Date & lieu

Du 25 janvier à 12h00 au 29 janvier 2021 à 17h00 CET

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Webinar held on Monday 25 January 2021 - 12.00 - 13.30 CET
See below for the documentation of this webinar.

Philip ANDREWS-SPEED | Senior Principal Research Fellow, Energy Studies Institute, National University of Singapore (bio)
Marc ISABELLE | Director, European Economics, Paris (bio)
Bernd MEYRING | Partner, Linklaters, Brussels (bio)
Valeska GOTTKE | Head of Communications and Markets, German Energy Storage Association (BVES), Berlin (bio)
Chair : Dirk BUSCHLE | Deputy director, Legal counsel, Energy Community Secretariat, Vienna (bio)



Webinar held on Wednesday 27 January 2021 - 15.30 - 17.00 CET
See below for the documentation of this webinar.

Tonja LEACH | Executive Director, QUEST Canada, Ottawa (bio)
Anes KAZAGIC | Head of Strategic Development, EPBiH, Sarajevo (bio)
Tilman KUHN | Partner, White & Case, Düsseldorf/Brussels (bio)
Chair : Marie-Therese RICHTER-KUHNERT | Energy lawyer, Energy Community Secretariat, Vienna (bio)



Webinar held on Friday 29 January 2021 - 13.30 - 15.00 CET
See below for the documentation of this webinar.

Juliette DELARUE | Lawyer State Aid, ClientEarth, Brussels (bio)
Leigh HANCHER | Professor, University of Tilburg and Florence School of Regulation | Senior Advisor, Baker Botts (bio)
Marc ISABELLE | Director, European Economics, Paris (bio)
Nicola PESARESI | Head of Unit, Markets and cases I : Energy and Environment, DG COMP, Brussels (bio)
Chair : James WEBBER | Partner, Shearman & Sterling, Brussels/London (bio)

Panel descriptions

WEBINAR #1 - Batteries, the new Airbus – Is competition law an obstacle for creating champions ?
Monday 25 January 2021, 12:00-13:30 CET

Innovation in and scaling up of battery production are preconditions for the European Green Deal to succeed. Decarbonization of the transport sector and system flexibility in a power system increasingly depending on volatile renewable resources crucially relies on batteries. The market for battery production is dominated largely by Asian producers. While free traders may simply regard this as an illustration of David Ricardo’s concept of comparative advantage, the promotors of a strategic autonomy for Europe do not leave it at that. Catching up and reducing dependencies has been on the agenda already under the Juncker Commission when the European Battery Alliance was launched. This has boosted the development of a number of joint ventures and allows for the granting of compatible aid under the IPCEI label (Important Projects of Common European Interest). The initiative’s declared aim is that production in the EU will match demand by 2025.

European industrial policy firming up in the energy sector – another strategic decarbonziation asset, hydrogen, is to follow suit – raises a wide range of questions : Will Europe be able to achieve its objective, and at what cost ? What would be the price of failure ? To what extent can such initiatives make up for the absence of a level-playing field in global trade rules ? And do competition and State aid rules need to compromise ?

The session will be moderated by Dirk Buschle, Deputy Director at the Energy Community Secretariat and Chairholder of the Iberdrola Manuel Marin Chair for Euroepan Energy Policy at the College of Europe.

Wednesday 27 January 2021, 15:30-17:00 CET

The topic of energy transition plays a role in the development of the climate policy, discussions about security of supply and the development of “old” and “new” energy technologies, such as coal and hydrogen.

Energy transition can be defined as a significant structural change in the energy system. Such changes have happened before, but the current transition to renewable and sustainable energy is significantly driven by the aim to reduce global carbon emissions and therefore constitutes a clear political decision induced by climate policy. Therefore, the question arises as to whether legal provisions, such as competition and State aid law, have to follow this political decision and be bent to fit and foster that purpose. Is competition and state aid law used to serve this all-green- purpose ? Or is it a set of neutral rules that puts the same limits to all industries and sectors ?

So today, the term and the general policy towards energy transition is clearly connoted as a green revolution. It is meant to align with the climate policy and ensure security of supply without dependency. It is meant to be all pro-renewables and e.g. hydrogen and all con coal and fossil fuels generally. But is this political decision supported by the legal framework and ultimately by citizens ? How can it be ensured that the energy transition does not come at a cost for the integrity of legal provisions and for the communities and citizens ?

The session will be moderated by Marie-Therese Richter-Kuhnert, Energy and Competition Lawyer at the Energy Community Secretariat.

Friday 29 January 2021 - 13.30 - 15.00 CET

This webinar will focus on the State aid rules and how they can support (or hinder) energy transition. Nicola Pesaresi can help us put the recently closed consultation on the EEAG into context – what the Commission is trying to achieve and how the EEAG reform fits into the overall green deal picture. Leigh Hancher will focus on the role of nuclear energy – and more broadly on the lessons for compatibility guidelines such as the EEAG following the Court of Justice’s judgment in Hinkley Point C. Juliette Delarue from NGO Client Earth will emphasise the sustainability priorities of the State aid assessment, the ways in which the current regime does not always do this and what ClientEarth’s priorities for the new EEAG are. Lastly, Marc Isabelle (European Economics) will talk to the tension with European strategic autonomy and how State aid conditionality helps or hinders the environmentally-focused IPCEI.


If you would like to read about this event’s topic, you can access the following Concurrences documents. If you do not have an access, please inquire for Subscription here.

1. Interview with Philip Andrews-Speed (National University of Singapore)
by Dirk Buschle (Energy Community Secretariat)

2. John Ratliff, Unilateral conduct in the energy sector : An overview of EU and national case law, 26 November 2020, e-Competitions Energy & Dominance, Art. N° 91734

3. Alain Ronzano, Environmental protection : European Commission launches public consultation on the design of the future guidelines on state aid for environmental protection and energy, 12 November 2020, Concurrences N° 4-2020, Art. N° 97860

4. Markus Wellinger, Francesco Pili, The EU Court of Justice clarifies the scope for State aid rules in the nuclear energy sector covered by the Euratom Treaty, as well as their relationship with the general principles of environmental law (Hinkley Point C), 22 September 2020, e-Competitions September 2020, Art. N° 97170

5. Bruno Stromsky, Compatible aid : The Court of Justice of the European Union confirms the legality of a decision authorizing aid for the promotion of nuclear energy and finds that the compatibility of aid under Article 107(3)(c) is not conditional on the pursuit of an objective of common interest (Hinkley Point C), 22 September 2020, Concurrences N° 4-2020, Art. N° 97650, pp. 179-181

6. Jean-Paul Tran Thiet, Alexandra Sieffert-Xuriguera, Regulated prices & energy : an overview of EU and national case law, 17 September 2020, e-Competitions Regulated prices & Energy, Art. N° 94828

7. Matthew Levitt, Leigh Hancher, David Gabathuler, The EU Commission starts a process to revise guidelines on State aid for environmental protection and energy, 8 July 2020, e-Competitions Preview, Art. N° 98024

8. Louis Navé, Energy : The Court of Justice of the European Union clarifies its case-law on the conditions for the imposition of public service obligations relating to regulated natural gas prices (Overgas Mrezhi), 30 April 2020, Concurrences N° 3-2020, Art. N° 96339, p. 156-157

9. Guillaume Dezobry, Energy : The French Parliament adopts the law on climate and energy, 8 November 2019, Concurrences N° 1-2020, Art. N° 93398, pp. 156-157


The Energy Community Forum dedicated to Competition Law in the Energy Sector is organised by Concurrences and the Energy Community Secretariat with the support of panel and media sponsors. Please register for the webinar of each panel. These webinars are open to all without fee/cost. The list of attendees will be communicated to the speakers.

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The official hashtag of this event on our social media is #EnergyCompetition2021. Use it to get updated and add your inputs to the discussions. See above this page for the links to our social media accounts.