The European Court of Justice has upheld an Italian ruling covering electrical network taxes, which imposes a transitional additional charge on some hydroelectric and geothermal power stations.

AEM SpA and AEM Torino SpA had lodged an appeal contesting the tax increase, accusing the state of discrimination over its decree of January 2000.

Previously, manufacturers generating from hydroelectric or geothermal installations applied a network tariff partially based on the cost of fuel which was then paid to a fund for thermal installations. With liberalisation, the price of access to the network no longer applied to but the fuel cost was still used in determining the price. Consequently, the state decided to impose a supplementary tax until the end of 2006 which will be paid to the fund and used to offset stranded costs. The Court ruled that the transitional nature of the tax meant there is no discrimination.