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Five Years of Energy Law in Groningen: Press release

28 September 2011

The Groningen Centre of Energy Law organizes a one day conference in order to celebrate its fifth anniversary. During the last five years the Centre has been involved in a wide range of teaching and research activities. Members of the Centre will present their work jointly with a selection of practitioners who have been supporting the Centre during this period. At the same time the conference will illustrate the developments currently taking place in the energy sector and the role of law in this process.

Groningen Centre of Energy Law

The Groningen Centre of Energy Law (GCEL) was established in 2006/2007 following the appointment of dr. Martha M. Roggenkamp as professor of energy law in 2005. GCEL is part of the Faculty of Law of the University of Groningen and some 30 researchers have joined GCEL as a result of which research covers a wide range of legal issues affecting the entire energy chain ‘from well head to burner tip’.

GCEL is a unique research centre concentrating on energy law. Its interdisciplinary approach is guaranteed through its active participation in the University’s Groningen Energy and Sustainability Programme (GESP) and close contacts with industry and governments.

Energy and the Law

Energy is one of the Topsectors for the Netherlands and GCEL leads the way as key player in energy law research and education. The energy sector is increasingly subject to changes in the law. The liberalisation of energy markets is based on laws and regulations aiming at freedom of choice and competition.

At the same time, States and market participants are confronted with decreasing oil and gas production and hence a need for more imports of primary energy sources. Therefore, a transition to a more sustainable energy supply is required. Issues include the use of renewable resources, the impact on grid use and development and limiting CO2 emissions.

Law is crucial as it defines the boundaries within which these developments may take place.


GCEL has a track record in energy law research and education. Research has been concentrating on EU-Russia energy law and investment protection, Carbon Capture and Storage funded by Cato2, Energy market liberalisation and grid access principles (funded by the Dutch Energy Law Association and Gasunie), International law and energy treaties (funded by Nord Stream), the development of an offshore electricity grid in the North Sea (funded by NWO) and, more recently, on liability following changes in the energy markets (funded by Edgar and Dorhout advocaten).

Also the teaching programme has expanded. As of September 2011 the Centre plays an active role in organising the specialisation energy and climate law in the LLMEuropean law. In addition, GCEL organises the post doctoral course “Energierecht op Locatie” (energy law on location) and the international course – the North Sea Energy Law Programme – in cooperation with the Universities of Aberdeen, Copenhagen and Oslo.


The conference ‘Five years of energy law in Groningen – Academics meet practice’ will present to you the above achievements. The researchers will present their research jointly with practitioners.

The impact of European law and policy on the energy sector and our research is illustrated by our keynote speaker Mr. Philip Lowe, Director-General for Energy in the European Commission, who will address one of the major challenges with which the energy sector is faced: the legal framework within which infrastructure developments will be made.

Maria van der Hoeven, International Energy Agency will briefly present here views on the role of the IEA in providing long-term sustainable energy supply.

The conference will take place on 28 September 2011 at the head quarters of Gasunie in Groningen.

Topics include:

  • Competition in Energy Markets and Non-discriminatory Access to Networks
  • Securing Energy Supply through Investment Protection: The EU-Russia Relation
  • Securing Energy Supply through Developing Offshore Energy Infrastructure illustrated by the development of the Nord Stream Pipeline and the North Sea Electricity Grid
  • Developing Small Oil and Gas Fields in the North Sea: New Legal Instruments and Lessons to be Learned
  • Regulating Carbon Capture and Storage: EU, National and Cross-border Perspectives

Speakers include:

  • Mr. Philip Lowe, Director-General for Energy in the European Commission
  • Mr. Cees Pisuisse, NV Nederlandse Gasunie
  • Mr. Graham Coop, Energy Charter Secretariat
  • Mr. Gerrit Vriezen, NAM
  • Prof. Dr. John Paterson, University of Aberdeen
  • Mr. Christoph Becker-Berke, RWE
  • Mr. Alexander Haag, LL.M, Nord Stream
  • Researchers Groningen Centre of Energy Law

Last modified:22 May 2019 09.17 a.m.

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