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Legal Limits for Electricity Capacity Markets in the EU and Germany

Christian Held, Jan Ole Voss


The article examines the major legal questions which arise from the introduction of electricity capacity markets in the EU and especially Germany. As central capacity markets generally might qualify as state aid under EU law, the conditions for services of general economic interest could become crucial when it comes to the design of such markets. The relevant criteria have been laid down by the European Commission in a 2003 decision on the Irish capacity market and recent guidelines on generation adequacy. Demand-driven or “decentral” capacity markets, by contrast, do not appear to fall within the scope of state aid law. The constitutional guarantee of freedomof competition and the protection of feed-in tariff claims against retroactive amendments are the main issues at stake concerning constitutional law.

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