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Has the Supreme Court put an end to the ACER debate?

Today, the Supreme Court ruled on the so-called ACER case, where the central question was whether the Constitution was violated when the Norwegian Parliament, in 2018, consented by a simple majority to include the EU’s third energy market package in the EEA Agreement. The conclusion of the Supreme Court is that the transfer of authority that took place was of little interference, and therefore, the Parliament did not violate the Constitution’s rules.

What is the ACER case?

The ACER case has attracted significant interest in the energy sector as it touches upon the connection between electricity prices and Norway’s participation in the European power market, including the transfer of authority to the EU’s energy agency, the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER). The organization “Nei til EU” argued before the Supreme Court that decisions from ACER could indirectly affect Norwegian electricity prices, and therefore, Parliament’s consent to the EU’s third energy market package should have been approved by a three-fourths majority instead of a simple majority.

Assessment by the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court believes that decisions made by ACER have minimal significance for electricity prices, considering the existence of foreign cables that are part of the European power market in which Norway is already involved. Therefore, the Supreme Court concluded that the transfer of authority is of little interference, and Parliament did not violate the Constitution’s rules when consent was given for the inclusion of the EU’s third energy market package by a simple majority in 2018.

Hear more about the ACER judgment in the upcoming episode of Energisk

Even though the Supreme Court had no doubts about the legal aspects of the case, the debate about ACER, EU’s energy market packages, electricity prices, and the organization of the power market is not over. Hjort is closely following this debate and has previously created episodes in the podcast Energisk about the current organization of the power market and the proposals from the Electricity Price Commission to ensure lower and more predictable electricity prices for consumers in the future. On Thursday, November 9th, we will release a dedicated episode about the ACER judgment, where we will delve deeper into what ACER is, its authority, the contents of the EU’s third and fourth energy market packages, and the connection between Norway’s accession to ACER and political control over electricity prices, power exports, etc. Follow Energisk here!