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Case C-379/98 PreussenElektra [2001]


  • The Court of Justice was asked to answer preliminary reference questions on the compatibility of EU state aid law with German national law, requiring German electricity to be purchased from local renewable energy sources at inflated prices


  • Was the question admissible; was the national law valid?


  • Yes; yes


  • It is usually for a national court to decide whether a preliminary reference if required for it to delivery judgment
  • In exceptional cases, the Court of Justice may examine whether it has jurisdiction
  • The national law was outside of the scope of EU (state aid) law
  • Nevertheless, the question could be answered due to its connection with EU law (opinion: this should not be the case)
  • As far as the national law sought to protect the environment from the emission of greenhouse gases, it was valid
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