The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Top EU court backs countries' right to limit renewable energy subsidies to home soil

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BRUSSELS - The European Union's top court is confirming countries have the right to limit subsidies for renewable energy to plants based on their territory, as opposed to companies' operations abroad.

Tuesday's ruling by the Court of Justice found countries may also restrict electricity imports to promote wind, solar or biomass energy because it "is justified by the public interest objective of promoting the use of renewable energy sources in order to protect the environment and combat climate change."

The verdict upholds current practices. A different outcome could have caused major challenges for countries like Germany, which spends billions on subsidies limited to its national borders.

The Luxembourg-based court ruled on a lawsuit by Alands Vindkraft, a Swedish company that sought to benefit from Swedish subsidies for power generated in Finland.

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