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European Commission appeals EU court ruling that suspended UK power capacity market


Court ruled EC must redo state aid approval process

Ruling suspended UK payments, auctions

Ruling stands while appeal is being heard

Brussels — The European Commission has appealed an EU court ruling which has suspended UK power capacity market payments and auctions since November, the EU Court of Justice confirmed Tuesday.

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The appeal does not automatically suspend the ruling, but the EC can ask the court to consider suspending the ruling until the appeal is decided, ECJ press officer Jacques Rene Zammit told S&P Global Platts.

The EC is challenging the ECJ General Court's November ruling that it failed to examine the UK's capacity market in enough depth before approving it under EU state aid rules, and that it must carry out a new assessment.

The ruling has frozen the UK power capacity market, preventing capacity auctions from being held and suspending payments under existing agreements.

If the EC's appeal is successful, the ruling would be annulled and the UK capacity market could restart.

Appeals usually take around a year or more to be decided, however, so this is not a quick resolution for companies wondering if they will get their payments or not.

The EC was not immediately available to comment, and Zammit said the details of the appeal and any EC requests to immediately suspend the ruling were not yet public.

It is also still unclear what will happen with open ECJ court cases if the UK leaves the EU on March 29 without a withdrawal agreement.

Once the UK is no longer an EU member, and unless agreed otherwise, it will not be bound by EU state aid rules and its capacity market will be entirely under its own jurisdiction.

-- Siobhan Hall,

-- Henry Edwardes-Evans,

-- Edited by Alisdair Bowles,

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2019 is set to be the year that coal-to-gas switching in power generation takes off in continental Europe. Carbon prices supported by the new market stability reserve cutting supplies, coupled with potentially lower gas prices, could prompt unprecedented C2G switching volumes.

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