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Green Network SpA v. Autorita per l'energia elettrica e il gas (European Court of Justice, 2014)

Jurisdiction: European Court of Justice

Principle law(s): 2020 Climate and Energy Package (contains Directive 2009/29/EC, Directive 2009/28/EC, Directive 2009/31/EC and Decision No. 406/2009/EC of the Parliament and the Council ; see below)

Side A: Green Network SpA (Ngo)

Side B: Italian Electric & Gas Authority (Government)

Core objectives: Question referred from appeals court regarding whether Italian law at issue was precluded by EU law

An Italian company, Green Network SpA ("Green Network"), imported renewable energy from a Swiss supplier in 2005. Under Italian law, energy companies were required to purchase a certain number of green certificates each year, but could seek an exemption where they imported renewable energy from countries with analogous laws promoting renewable energy. Where the exporting country was not a member of the European Union, the exemption was available only if there was a prior agreement between the importing and exporting countries regarding recognition of guarantees of origin. When Green Network requested an exemption from its obligation to purchase green certificates, the Italian national grid manager rejected that request since there was no agreement regarding guarantees of origin between Italy and Switzerland at the time the renewable energy was imported. 

Green Network brought an action in administrative court, which was dismissed. Green Network appealed the dismissal, and the appeals court referred to the European Court of Justice the question, inter alia, whether the Italian law conflicted with EU directives. The Court held that the Italian law was precluded since guarantees of origin fall within an area largely covered by EU law.
Case documents

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