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SPAIN IS SUED ONCE AGAIN BEFORE THE ICSID FOR CUTS IN RENEWABLE ENERGIES

SPAIN IS SUED ONCE AGAIN BEFORE THE ICSID FOR CUTS IN RENEWABLE ENERGIES

On 21 December, the Danish company European Solar Farms filed the thirty-second arbitration request against Spain before the International Court for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), for the cut in premiums for renewable energies. Once again, the Energy Charter Treaty is invoked by those claiming against Spain for that change made to the law that drastically reduced the retribution that the promoters of renewable installations in Spain had been receiving. European Solar Farms, a subsidiary of European Energy, owns and operates photovoltaic plants is headquartered in Soborg, Denmark.

The ICSID arbitration courts have already ruled in three cases in favour of the plaintiff: Masdar, belonging to the sovereign fund of Abu Dhabi Mubadala, recognising compensation of 64 million euros; Eiser Infrastructure, 128 million euros plus interest; and the Antin fund, 112 million euros. However, enforcement remains a real concern for plaintiffs (and third-party funders) as the awards are being challenged by the Spanish Government in annulment proceedings and especially the rejection of EU national courts to enforce after the decision of the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) in Slovak Republic v Achmea (Case C-284/16).

In this sense, whilst the Spanish government continues to avoid the payment of awards by using the Achmea judgement, claimants are trying to enforce their award outside of the EU. It is well known that some plaintiffs are filing precautionary measures requests before some US Courts to obtain injunction orders over Spanish sovereign assets. However, there is no current confirmation of any Spanish sovereign asset freeze. The Minister for the Ecological Transition, Teresa Ribera, indicated last August that claims against Spain before international arbitration bodies for cuts in premiums for renewables exceed 8,000 million euros.

More details regarding this case can be found here:

https://icsid.worldbank.org/en/Pages/cases/casedetail.aspx?CaseNo=ARB/18/45

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