AbstractsLaw & Legal Studies

EU Law and Policy on Energy Security. Streamlining of Environmental Impact Assessments for Cross-border Electricity Infrastructure

by Britta Uhlmann

Institution: University of Iceland
Year: 2015
Keywords: Lögfræði; Auðlindaréttur og alþjóðlegur umhverfisréttur; Evrópuréttur; Orkuframleiðsla; Umhverfisáhrif
Record ID: 1222336
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/1946/20208


Europe’s energy infrastructure is undergoing a fundamental change as the completion of the EU’s internal market and the increasing integration of energy from renewables place increasing demands on the technical modernisation and interconnection of national grids. The legal framework for the construction of such energy infrastructure is provided by the 3rd Energy Package and the TEN-E guidelines. They designate a special infrastructure category – the Project of Common Interest (PCI). A project with a PCI status enjoys certain preferential treatments in the permit granting procedure in order to facilitate and accelerate the final decision-making. This is important due to the urgent need for new infrastructure and the increased need for investment security. The construction of transboundary energy infrastructure is usually subject to environmental assessments, which are comprised of the EIA Directive and the Espoo Convention. One overarching issue of this thesis is the conflict between the security of energy supply and the protection of the environment. Against that background, the thesis investigates the EU’s legal framework for the construction of energy infrastructure in general and the Commission’s Guidance document on Streamlining environmental assessment procedures for energy infrastructure PCIs in particular. A special focus is placed on the question whether or not the legal framework for the permit granting of transboundary energy infrastructure PCIs takes due account of the environmental standards of EU law.