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Burges Salmon LLP

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IHL Legal Briefings

If your firm wishes to publish IHL Legal Briefings or articles, please contact Antony Dine on +44 (0) 207 396 9315 or

Capacity for debt? Funding issues and the capacity market

June 2016. By Burges Salmon, James Phillips, and Nathan Curtis

The capacity market, which was introduced as part of the government’s electricity market reform, was established to ensure security of supply in light of the increasing diversity of generation technologies in the UK market. Previous articles from the Burges Salmon team have set out the details of the capacity market and tracked recent updates and consultations. This article provides a high-level overview of the opportunities presented by the market and looks at some of the potential issues prospective investors might encounter. [Continue Reading]

Seeing the wood for the trees: which aspects of the new General Data Protection Regulation should yo

March 2016. By Burges Salmon, Andrew Dunlop, and Annabelle Gold-Caution

The EUÂ’s governing bodies recently reached an agreement on the text of the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) after months of ongoing trilogue negotiations. [Continue Reading]

Electricity market reform: an update on contracts for difference

March 2016. By Burges Salmon, Ross Fairley, and Emma Andrews

The Energy Bill, legislating for the governmentÂ’s electricity market reform (EMR), finally became the Energy Act in December 2013. The government initially announced its proposals back in December 2010. This legislation, three years in the making, is central to the governmentÂ’s energy policy and its stated aims of keeping the lights on, keeping energy bills affordable and decarbonising energy generation. Over the past three years, the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) have issued an ever-increasing stream of papers. More recent papers have disclosed some key shifts in original thoughts on implementation, the latest being prompted by EU state aid guidelines.? [Continue Reading]

Energy efficiency in the UK: legal changes and commercial impact

December 2015. By Burges Salmon, Michael Barlow, and ?Stephen Lavington

In recent years various UK governments have made commitments at international, European and national levels to reduce overall emissions of greenhouse gases including through the promotion of energy efficiency. These high-level commitments have impacted both commercial and domestic energy consumers through the introduction of regulation, taxation and incentives aimed at helping to meet these commitments.? [Continue Reading]

Shale gas: the developing regulatory regime?

November 2015. By Burges Salmon, James Phillips, and ?Sarah Farr

One of the challenges facing the shale gas industry is grappling with the different regulatory regimes in each jurisdiction. The UK provides an interesting illustration of these challenges. In England, the Conservative Party supports the progression of the industry. In comparison, the Welsh, Scottish and Northern Irish administrations are taking a more cautious approach. This divergence corresponds with recent commitments made by the UK government to devolve onshore oil and gas licensing powers to Wales and Scotland. Consequently, the latest onshore licensing round, which was announced in August 2015, issued petroleum exploration and development licences to operators in England only.? [Continue Reading]

Renewable incentives in the UK: wholesale legal reform and grace periods

October 2015. By Burges Salmon, Ross Fairley, and Alec Whiter

Following the May 2015 election, the UK government has commenced a wholesale reform of the way in which renewable energy is supported and incentivised in the UK. This reform appears to have been shaped by a drive to slash costs and, as with the early closure of the Renewables Obligation (RO) to large solar PV generating stations (LSGS) (generating stations with an installed capacity greater than 5 MW) in March 2015, the proposed changes are likely to lead to a short-term boom in renewables deployment, followed by a run-off period where fewer generating stations are accredited under specific time-limited exemptions (commonly referred to as grace periods). [Continue Reading]

Know your supply chain: current issues for chemicals and product stewardship

September 2015. By Burges Salmon, Simon Tilling, William Wilson, and Alice Yan

This article presents an update on some key areas in chemicals regulation and product stewardship. A central theme is the importance of businesses having reliable control of the information available through their supply chains, without which compliance is much harder to achieve and reputational risks much greater. [Continue Reading]

A difficult balance: keeping the lights on?

July 2015. By Burges Salmon and James Phillips

Ensuring the security and quality of electricity supply across the GB transmission system is a huge challenge. The responsibility for this sits with National Grid by virtue of its Transmission Licence (granted pursuant to the Electricity Act 1989) and a series of codes, including the Balancing and Settlement Code (BSC). An obligation to comply with balancing requirements is also included in individual generation and supply licences. [Continue Reading]

The 2015 election and its environmental and energy implications: change or continuity?

June 2015. By Burges Salmon, Ross Fairley, and Richard Manning

With environmental considerations playing an increasingly important role in our everyday lives, it is perhaps surprising that, aside from the Green Party agenda, the sphere of environmental and energy policy took a relative back seat in the lead up to the 7 May 2015 general election. As the dust from the election settles, however, it seems certain that environmental and energy issues will return to the fore. With the eagerly awaited preliminary findings of the Competition and Markets Authority’s investigation into the UK energy market expected to be published in the coming months and with the fast approaching UN Climate Change Conference in Paris at the end of the year – to name but two significant upcoming events in the sector – the new government will have no shortage of difficult energy and environmental policy decisions on its hands.? [Continue Reading]

All change in green energy: results of the first Contracts for Difference auction

May 2015. By Burges Salmon and Ross Fairley

The government has recently announced the winners of the first auction for its non-fossil fuel Contracts for Difference (CfDs). These CfDs will ultimately replace the main existing subsidy support for renewable energy, the Renewables Obligation (RO), and are a key part of the governmentÂ’s Electricity Market Reform (EMR) package. The award follows many years of consultation and development and the much talked about move to an auction system pitting technologies ?against each other in a bid for 15-year revenue support for projects once they ?have been commissioned. [Continue Reading]

Legal Developments by:
Burges Salmon LLP

  • Restoring environmental damage: putting a price on ecosystem services

    On 7 August 2009 a 40-inch pipeline ruptured, spilling 5,400 cubic metres of crude oil into the soil and groundwater of La Crau nature reserve in southern France, a habitat protected under French and European law. The operator had to excavate and replace 60,000 tons of soil, install 70 wells to pump and treat groundwater and 25 pumps to skim oil from surface water, at a cost in the region of €50m. However, this was just the primary remediation (that is, restoring the site to the state it would have been if the damage had not occurred). The operator was also required to compensate for the damage to the habitats and the loss of the ecosystem services that would otherwise have been provided by La Crau nature reserve. Measures included purchasing land outside of the nature reserve and contributing to its management for a period of 30 years (over €1m), monitoring the water table for 20 years (over €500,000), monitoring fauna over three years (€150,000) and rehabilitation in accordance with best available ecological techniques (nearly €2m). Overall, the compensatory restoration (to compensate for the amount of time that the ecosystem was impacted) and complimentary restoration (to compensate for elements of the ecosystem that had been permanently lost) came to more than €6.5m. 

    - Burges Salmon LLP

Legal Developments in the UK

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