The Future of Energy - Autumn 2023

We are proud to share our quarterly newsletter on the key international Energy & Utilities legal developments relating to the global energy transition.


Brought to you by the international Energy & Utilities Sector Group at Bird & Bird

In Focus - Corporate PPAs

International Corporate PPA Report 2023/24

2022 witnessed an impressive surge in Corporate PPA deals, with more than 160 corporations, across 36 countries announcing Corporate PPA deals – a growth of nearly 18% from 2021. This appetite has continued to grow into 2023. As corporations look to take advantage of a range of sustainability, economic and reputational benefits, the rise of Corporate PPAs shows no sign of slowing down.

This report looks at the main drivers propelling the growth of Corporate PPAs globally, analyses the different Corporate PPA deal structures, shares the latest Corporate PPA trends in the market, and provides an overview of market considerations in over 20 key jurisdictions globally.

This year we have also launched the Bird & Bird Corporate PPA Hub, to provide you with useful resources on the global Corporate PPA market so you can stay up-to-date with the latest trends.

If you are interested in finding out more about how a Corporate PPA can help your business, please visit the links below or get in contact.

Click here to read the latest report

Click here to visit the Corporate PPA Hub

Updates from our International Network

“Delivering today and preparing for tomorrow” – European Commission releases its Work Programme for 2024

On 17 October 2023, the European Commission published its Work Programme for 2024, an annual document that sets out the list of the most important actions it will execute in the year ahead, which includes several initiatives that will remain a priority for the years to come. As the continent prepares for the upcoming elections in 2024, the path forward hinges on unity, vision, and unwavering commitment to a sustainable, inclusive future. Our article looks at the European Green Deal in focus.

For more information please contact Paula Alexe.

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The evolution of EU Energy: regulatory reforms post-Paris Agreement

Since the passing of the 2015 Paris Agreement, the European Union has taken significant steps in its energy policy. Steps have been taken both in the electricity and gas spaces, as well as renewable energy. In this article, we outline some of the main regulatory reforms and platform changes which have shaped the EU energy space since the passing of the Paris Agreement.

For more information please contact Laura Huomo or Dr. Matthias Lang.

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Decoding Global Climate Initiatives: From COP28 to the Green Energy Transition

With COP28 having recently started on 30 November 2023, we've highlighted everything you need to know in light of the increased international climate protection measures that are poised to shape European law.

For more information please contact Stefanie Kremer or Dr. Matthias Lang.

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What is the UK’s Critical Minerals Strategy, and how does it compare to the EU’s and Australia’s strategies?

The UK Critical Minerals Strategy (“UK CMS”), first published in July 2022 and refreshed in March 2023, aims to “help deliver the secure, stable supplies of critical minerals needed by the UK industry now and in future”. Our article discusses how the strategy will achieve this, what funding is or will become available and how it compares to the EU's and Australia's strategies.

For more information please contact Amy Donlevey.

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Round Two: ClientEarth's second attempt to force Shell Directors to comply with climate change obligations dismissed by English High Court after oral hearing

Following the dismissal by the High Court of ClientEarth’s application on the papers to force Shell’s directors (the “Directors”) to comply with the Paris Agreement, it exercised its right to ask the court to reconsider that decision at an oral hearing. This application has now also been dismissed (ClientEarth v Shell [2023] EWHC 1897 (Ch)). Although the judgment repeats to a ‘significant extent’ the reasoning given in the first judgment (the ‘May Judgment’), it does provide further explanation as to why the application was dismissed on both occasions and is therefore instructive as to what the parties need to prove in a claim of this nature.

You can read the background to the application and our commentary on the May Judgment here. In this update we do not seek to repeat the content of our previous article but instead discuss additional matters raised in the judgment following the oral hearing and what can be learned as a result.

For more information please contact Jonathan Speed or Louise Lanzkron.

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The Corporate PPA Fund: A driver for industrial consumers in France?

On 10 November 2022, the French Government announced that it has instructed Bpifrance to set up a guarantee fund called Garantie Électricité Renouvelable (the “GER”) to encourage the conclusion of Corporate Power Purchase Agreements (“CPPA”) with industrial consumers (Mise en œuvre d’un fonds garantissant les contrats d’approvisionnement de long terme pour les industriels lorsqu’ils sont adossés à des actifs renouvelables, French Government, 2022). It is inspired by the Norwegian guarantee for PPPs created in 2011.

For more information please contact Boris Martor, Sébastien Hoff or Pierre-Benoît Drancourt.

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Portugal and the offshore technologies: What lies ahead

Offshore renewable energy sources, in particular those based on wind technology, are currently recognised internationally as having the greatest untapped potential to reach ambitious climate goals and are expected to play a central role in the energy transition of Portugal in the years to come. Our co-authored article with Sérvulo provides insight into the Portuguese offshore wind auctions, and lessons that can be learnt from previous international tenders.

For more information please contact Lars Kyrberg, Sophie Dingenen or Clive Hopewell.

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What are the implications of the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM)?

The Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism of 10 May 2023 aims to put a price on greenhouse gas emissions from imports at the same level as products manufactured in the EU. Our article summarizes the key points.

For more information please contact Dr. Hermann Rothfuchs or Tatjana Beck.

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