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Showing posts from April, 2013

State Guarantees for Publicly-Owned Electricity Utilities: Iceland Constrained to Change Rules by EFTA Surveillance Authority to Be Compatible with State Aid Regime

EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) announced on 24 April 2013 that it had decided to close a case concerning the qualification as state aids and legality of state guarantees granted to two publicly-owned electricity utilities in Iceland, namely Landsvirkjun and Orkuveita Reykjavíkur.
The previous Icelandic rules provided unlimited state guarantees to the two publicly owned electricity utilities, which was considered by ESA as state aids incompatible with EEA law.
To put an end to the investigation, Iceland had to change its rules for the attribution of state guarantees to these undertakings. The main changes adopted relate to: - the end of unlimited state guarantees for the two publicly-owned electricity utilities; - the payment by the two companies of a "state guarantee premium" equivalent to the benefits derived from the state guarantee, to be adjusted each year; - the prohibition from getting a guarantee covering more than 80% of either an outstanding loan or financial obl…

"Miljøteknologiportalen": Nytt Verktøy for å Finne Riktig Offentlig Finansiering

Innovasjon Norge, gjennom Programråd for miljøteknologi (oppnevnt av regjeringen), har etablert Miljøteknologiportalen (http://www.miljoteknologi.no/) som et nytt portal for å hjelpe bedriftene til å finne den riktige offentlig finansieringskilden. Jakt etter offentlig finansiering kan riktig nok oppleves som å bevege seg i en "virkemiddelskog", og slike verktøy er velkommen. 
Utfordringen er ofte å finne, men også å velge det programmet som skal passe best til prosjektet, ikke bare i kort sikt, men også i lang sikt, men tanke på f. ek.s kommersialisering og transisjon til markedet etter en fase av forskning og utvikling (FoU) samt testing. Hvordan man kan kombinere støtte er også en aktuell problemstilling som bedriftene oppdager etterhvert. 
Et bra tiltak som er verdt å nevne, huske og bruke.

CCS Directive to Enter into Force in EEA countries on 1 June 2013 (Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein)

The directive on the geological storage of carbon dioxide, Directive 2009/31/EC (so-called CCS Directive), was adopted on 23 April 2009 by the EU legislator. After the clearance on 11 April 2013 by the Icelandic authorities of some constitutional requirements, the Directive is now binding on the three states of the European Economic Area Agreement (EEA Agreement), which are Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. Date of entry into force and deadline for transposition are 1 June 2013.
Main components of the CCS Directive
The CCS Directive establishes "a legal framework for the environmentally safe geological storage of CO2"  in the European Union, as an integral part of EU's climate change policy (Art. 1.1). It regulates the whole CCS chain, i.e.: - evaluation of the available storage volumes, once decision to start storage is made by the state; - selection of the storage sites, assessment and characterisation of the suitability of the sites, storage complex and surrounding a…