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| Economy law

Retroactive adjustment of invoices and entitlement to deduct input tax – permanent torch in VAT law

In its judgment of 22 January 2020, BFH decided, in the context of the assessment of performance relationships in the course of the construction of a bioenergy park, that the retroactive effect of an invoice adjustment in the event of deduction of input VAT applies irrespective of whether the adjustment has an effect to the advantage or disadvantage of the beneficiary. The planning, delivery and installation of the own demand supply as well as the energy drainage were owed. Cancellation of an invoice together with the issuance of a new invoice replacing it may also have such retroactive effect. An invoice is also "incorrect"; within the meaning of § 31 para. 5 sentence 1 letter. b VATDV (Value Added Tax Implementing Regulation) if it has been completely reversed and the value added tax paid has been repaid in agreement with all parties involved. (BFH, Dec. of 22.01.2020 - Case No.: XI R 10/17)
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| Energy law

Amendments to the Wind Energy-to-Sea Act: Digitisation of planning and approval procedures

On 29 June, the Commission adopted a proposal for a Directive on the planning safeguards law, which came into force in May 2020, introduced the tool of online consultation, initially limited to the duration of the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. In connection with the amendments to the WindSeeG adopted by the Federal Government today, the formal consultation of the authorities to be involved has been replaced by the publication of the relevant planning documents on the Internet (§ 6 para. 10, § 12 para. 2a, para. 4 sentences 2 and 3, § 47 para. 6 WindSeeG). A further step towards bringing administrative procedures into the digital age. And unlike the Planning Security Act, the tool of this online consultation is no longer tied to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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| Co-generating

Common objective market within the meaning of the GWB for district heating and contracting

The Higher Regional Court of Rostock (OLG Rostock) ruled in a judgment of 5 July 1994. March 2019 on the nullity of a district heating supply contract on the basis of § 1 GWB i. V. m. § 134 BGB, which has been living between the heat supplier and the customer for several years. The Court of First Instance is of the opinion that, although supplying large customers with district heating or through heat contracting, it is a common product market. However, since in the specific case there was no impediment to the market, a nullity of the heat supply contract was not to be assumed. In addition, a ten-year contract term in view of the possible maturity agreement according to § 32 para. 1 AVBFernwärmeV does not contradict § 1 GWB, even in combination with a minimum purchase quantity. (OLG Rostock, Dec.. of. 5.3.2020 - Case No. : 16 U 1/18)
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| Energy law

BGH specifies the scope of the transfer entitlement of the new concessionaire

With its decision of 07. 04. 2020, the BGH has clarified the scope of the transfer entitlement of the new concessionaire vis-à-vis the previous operator of the general supply network pursuant to § 46 para. 2 sentence 2 of the EnWG. According to this, high-voltage and high-pressure pipelines in the municipal area are also part of the local distribution network if the system cannot be disregarded without the new concessionaire no longer being able to fulfill its supply tasks as the former system operator did, and the pipeline system has a more than insignificant role in local supply. The right of transfer is not limited to installations to which customers are directly connected. (BGH, UrtDec. of. 7. April 2020 - Case No.: EnZR 75/18)
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| Energy law

BGH specifies requirements for civic energy companies in the EEG

By decision of 11. 02. 2020 the BGH specifies the requirements for a citizen energy company according to § 3 No. 15 EEG, which participates in an invitation to tender, in the sense that the majority of voting rights for district-based members must also be accompanied by a corresponding actual possibility of exerting influence on the company and participating in decisions of the general meeting. However, the requirements for a public energy company are not fulfilled if the social contract does not provide for majority decisions or if the social contract of a limited partnership withdraws fundamental transactions from the decision of the shareholders and assigns them exclusively to a company of the complementary company. ( BGH, Dec. from 11. 02. 2020 - Az. : EnVR 101/18)
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| Energy law

Testing competence of the BNetzA in the tendering process for onshore wind energy

In a decision of 11 March 2020, the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court (OLG) commented on whether the Federal Network Agency (BNetzA) is obliged to examine the legality of the licensing authority's immission-related decision in the context of the tender to determine the financial support for onshore wind energy plants. The court came to the conclusion that in the case of § 36f para. 2 p. 1 EEG 2017, it depends solely on the actual approval situation, i. e. depends on whether the competent licensing authority has granted a modification permit under immission control law. This applies accordingly to the existence of an approval for modification. For this reason, in the specific case, the contract was to be rejected in the invitation to tender, as a modification permit already existed and it was irrelevant to the BNetzA whether a new BImSch permit should have been issued by the permitting authority ( OLG Düsseldorf, Declaration of 11. 03. 2020 - Ref: 3 Kart 772/19)
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