Legal Alert – Draft Government Bill for Amending the Feed-in Tariff Act Circulated for Comments
The new Government Programme includes a clause according to which the Finnish feed-in tariff system will be cut and a new, less costly, subsidy programme will be introduced.
The Ministry of Employment and the Economy has today published a draft Government Bill regarding an amendment to the Act on Production Subsidy for Electricity Produced from Renewable Energy Sources (“Feed-in Tariff Act”) for comments. Comments regarding the draft are to be submitted to the Ministry of Employment and the Economy by 30 July 2015.
The draft states that the total output of the subsidized electricity production capacity will not be cut from the current 2,500 MVA nor will the target price be reduced. Instead, the Feed-in Tariff Act would be reformulated in a way that accepting a wind farm to the feed-in tariff system requires a preceding quota decision. Until now, it has been possible to apply for acceptance to the feed-in tariff system without having first been granted a quota decision.
To achieve the savings required in the Government Programme, the prerequisites for applying for a quota decision are revised. A quota decision application can be filed as long as the aggregate output of the wind turbine generators accepted to the feed-in tariff system or subject to positive quota decisions does not exceed 2,500 MVA. After the cap is exceeded for the first time, new applications regarding a quota decision could not be made. Accordingly, after the cap is first met, the Energy Authority would have to reject all following applications. In case an already granted quota decision expired due to a delay in the project in question, the output reserved for such project would no more be returned to the subsidized quota to benefit other applicants.
The amendment is planned to take effect immediately after it has been accepted and it would be applied retroactively to pending quota decision applications but not to pending applications regarding acceptance to the feed-in tariff system.