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...Start ...Main practice areas ...Energy law
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Tel +49.511/357356-0
Fax +49.511/357356-29


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Energy Law (Energy industry Law, Energy anti-trust law)

Regulations regarding Energy Industry Law (Unbundling):

With the introduction of the German Energy Industry Act (Gesetz zur Neuregelung des Energiewirtschaftsrechts), the energy market shall be liberalized, in this case is “unbundling” necessary. Unbundling is an English word, really common in the German legal dictionary as well. In the economy context, unbundling is a process by which a big company for example, decides to retain one or more core businesses and sell off the remaining divisions for legal or regulatory reasons. A business unit becomes the activity of a company in a particular market.

What does Unbundling mean?

For the grid-based energy network economy (gas, electricity), unbundling is a separation from the economical aspect of energy functions. For the electricity sector this separation of assignment (national high voltage networks) or distribution (regional law and medium voltage grid) means a lot for the production and distribution.  As far as concerned the field of gas resources, the functions of transmissions (national wide), the distribution (regional), the LNG facilities (liquefaction of gas), the storage of the area of extraction or the distribution are to be separated from each other. This unbundling is required in the grid-based energy economy in order to allow a marker liberalization, since the transport pipe are almost a natural monopoly between the production and the further distribution. In this way, as a result, vertically integrated energy´s suppliers (companies that in addition to the grid operation, are also active as producers or distributors of gas or electricity) will obtain a dominant market position. A truly free competition between the market-dominating corporation and a competitor of a business segment can not occur, if the competitor together with his business activities also depend on the grid operation resource of the market-dominating group. In this case, we will talk about an inevitable discrimination of the competitors and unfair competition.

Which are the main purposes of Unbundling?

The purpose of an unbundling process must be therefore, to avoid competition from power supply companies, such as the networks regarding the grid-based energy industry, to ensure that transparent and objective access to external companies and to determine that all those different kind of grid customers will be equally and fairly treated. For the aspires goal of unbundling, various mechanisms with different intensity of intervention are used. The different type of unbundling divided into:

  • Ownership unbundling; 
  • Legal unbundling; 
  • Operational unbundling; 
  • Informational unbundling;
  • Accounting unbundling.

What can we do for you?

Our legal services in the field of energy law:

  • We support companies in the energy sector with strategical associations, cooperation and start-ups;
  • We examine, implement or reject transit projects; 
  • Business intentions are incorporated in secure contracts and already existing set of agreement are reviews and adapted;
  • Energy retailers are supported during the course of business with other energy suppliers, in contract negotiations, contract design, contract amendment, contract enforcement and contract termination;
  • We are experts in solving eventual problems in regard with the electricity feed in accordance with the Renewable Energy Act (EEG) or with the Combined Heat and Power Act (KWKG);
  • We advise energy customers in every step of their business.

For further information please visit the following website: 

More topics and services:

  • Energy Industry Law
  • Renewable Energy Act (EEG  2014)
  • Consumers Law
  • Combined Heat and Power Act (KWKG  Kraft-Wärme-Kopplungsgesetz)
  • Energy Law
  • Legal Advice and Legal Protection.

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© German lawyer Michael Horak 2002-2018

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