Who can sue the Czech state over the solar investments? Why are domestic investors battling the state at a disadvantage compared to foreign plaintiffs? How will the Czech Republic defend itself? Czech Position deciphers the rules (and violations) of the great solar game.
EU Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger and EU Commissioner for Climate Action Connie Hedegaard have sent a letter to the Czech Minister of Industry and Trade Martin Kocourek (Civic Democrats, ODS), expressing concern about the “retroactive” nature of the new Czech law on solar energy, which introduces a 26 percent tax on energy produced by photovoltaic plants connected to the grid in 2010 and 2009.
The Czech state should brace itself for a new form of arbitration. If foreign investors in the country’s photovoltaic sector stick to their threat, within two months Finance Ministry officials who represent the state in arbitration cases can expect unpleasant notification in the post. According to Czech Position’s sources, foreign “solar” investors are planning to file a joint legal complaint against the Czech Republic.
Countless solar panels have sprouted up in the Czech and Moravian countryside, where picturesque village churches for centuries were the dominant man-made structures dotting the landscape. On the surface of it, the photovoltaic boom that peaked at the end of 2010 may have inspired some amusing practices, but there is a dark — and essentially criminal — side to the country’s love affair with the power of the sun.