Celje, December 6, 2012 – On November 28th, the Slovenian Government significantly decreased the Feed-in tariffs for all newly installed solar power plants as of December 1st, 2012.
The Government adopted amendments to the Regulation on supports for the electricity generated from renewable energy Source sun expectedly and has consequently triggered outrage among investors as well as the Slovenian Photovoltaic Industry Association (ZSFI).
The Association calls upon the Slovenian Government to immediately suspend the implementation of the Regulation and to review the Slovenian and EU legal basis on which they approved the amendments to theRegulation. According to the legal opinion obtained by the Association, the decision of the government is unconstitutional, because the government adopted the amendments justtwo days before it was brought into force. This is contrary to the Rules of procedure of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia and the Act on the Access to Information of Public Character.
In any normal democratic country,the legislation cannot be changed overnight; legislative and regulatory proposals, changes and by-laws are never kept in secret in order to exclude the involved entities and public to properly prepare for theintended changes. In the Republic of Slovenia this is obviously possible and is happening right now!
On November 28th, at its 39th regular meeting, the Slovenian Government issued a Regulationon amendingthe Regulation on supports for the electricity generated from renewable energy sources. The arbitrary change of the Feed-in tariffs does not apply to all renewables, but only to solar power plants, connected to the electrical grid after December 1, 2012.
Adoption of thisRegulation is unconstitutional. By issuing the Regulation, the Government has affected a multitude of investors who pawned their own assets and dared to invest in apparently lawless country. Consequently the banks and international investors, who have already refrained from investing in Slovenia,received a strong incentive to avoid anyinvestmentsin solar energy in Slovenia.
The Slovenian Photovoltaic Industry Association calls upon the Government to immediately suspend the implementation of the amendment of theRegulation and to examine the Slovenian and EU legal basis on which any amendments to the Regulation can be made. Should the Government insiston the legal validity of the amended Regulation, the Association will be forced to launch an initiative to review the constitutionality and legality of the Regulation in accordance with Articles 22 and 24 of the Constitutional CourtAct.
After reviewing the e-government portal, it is evident that the amendment was neverintroduced to the public prior to its adoption. This is a clear violation of Article 9 of the Rules of procedure of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia (Official Gazette of RS, no. 43/01, with amendments).
The Government adopted the Regulation just two days before it was brought into force, which is unconstitutionalbecause it contradicts the Rules of procedure of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia, the Act on the Access to Information of Public Character(Official Gazette of RS, no. 51/06), Decree on communication and re-use of public sector information (Official Gazette of RS, no. 76/05, 119/07, 95/11) and the Resolution on Legislative Regulation(ReNDej) (Official Gazette of RS, no. 95/09). In accordance with paragraph 9 of the Rules of the Government, the Government or the proposer must invite professional and general public to participate in the preparation of the regulationwith a general invitation, to which they must attacha draft of the regulation and publish iton the website.
In accordance with paragraph 4 of the same Article, the public comment periodis 30 to 60 days after thepublication of the proposal on the website. It should also be emphasized that legislative material mustbe coordinatedbetween ministriesbefore being submittedfor consideration to the Government. This process takes at least 14 days.
Public cooperation in the process of preparing and adopting regulations must be assured due to the principles of legal certainty and legal predictability. Adhering to these principlesreflectsina clear and consistent legal orderwhich isa prerequisite for democraticfunctioning of a country. Clear, understandable and easily enforceable regulations which do not change overnight strengthen confidence in the legal orderand ensurerespect and protection of the human rights.
Slovenian Photovoltaic Industry Association (ZSFI) is Slovenian largest industry association devoted to the solar photovoltaic (PV) electricity market. ZSFI is actively involved in the domestic political and business PV market.
For more information:
Slovenian Photovoltaic Industry Association
Kidričeva 25, 3000 Celje
T +386 82 802 182
F +386 82 802 183