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Czech Republic / The Supreme Court / 30 Cdo 4231/2016

PLAINTIFF: WIS ENERGO MORAVSKÝ ŽIŽKOV S. R. O.AND WIS ENERGO KLADNO A. S., BOTH COMPANIES PRODUCING SOLAR ENERGY DEFENDANT: THE CZECH REPUBLIC, THE MINISTRY OF FINANCE

Policy area:
Energy
Deciding Body type:
National Court/Tribunal
Deciding Body:
The Supreme Court
Type:
Decision
Decision date:
28/05/2018

Key facts of the case:

The Plaintiffs, both of them companies producing solar energy, demanded compensation amounting to millions of CZK from the Czech Republic. The production of photovoltaic electricity was supported by the CR according to the Act on Support for Renewable Sources of Energy[1]. This Act was amended by Act No. 402/2010 Coll., and from 1. 1. 2011 to 31. 12. 2013 a new tax of 26% - 28% was introduced. The Plaintiffs claim that this new tax contradicts EU law, legitimate expectation, and the ban on discrimination. The lower courts did not satisfy their demands, so they appealed to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court upheld the decisions of the lower courts. The Plaintiffs asked for compensation for a harm caused by a breach of EU law – namely, EU Directives 2001/77/ES and 2009/28/ES. According to those directives, EU Member States must support renewable sources of energy, but the tax does not contradict the rationale of the directives. The new legislation introducing a tax is clear and precise and does not have a retroactive effect. Also, it is not discriminatory because in terms of Articles 20 and 21 of the Charter, it deals with similar situations in a similar way and with different situations in a different way and the tax is imposed on all solar power-plant owners.

 



[1] the Czech Republic, Act No. 180/2005 Coll. on Support for Renewable Sources of Energy.

 

Key legal question raised by the Court:

Is the tax on photovoltaic electricity discriminatory?

Outcome of the case:

The Czech Republic did not breach EU directives 2001/77/ES and 2009/28/ES relating to solar energy or the ban on discrimination by imposing a tax on solar energy.