Energy Law


The legal treatment of energy currently corresponds to one of the matters that has a growing interest, not only due to the importance of energy, but also due to the diversity and, in many cases, contradictory interests that it raises. As the discipline is taught in English and is aimed at students with little or no contact with the Portuguese legal system, it is intended that the perspective adopted is as international as possible, seeking to identify problems and trends that, although not exactly simultaneously, can be seen as transversal to the different legal systems. Furthermore, the energy area currently corresponds to an area of ¿¿assumed transition, which is therefore characterized by a very significant change in the respective legal framework, so it is essential to provide students with an updated view of the solutions adopted, with the capacity to know and problematize the reasons that led to their adoption and the main objectives that they pursue. Thus, the fundamental objectives of the course are fundamentally to (i) allow an in-depth understanding of the relationship between energy law and the energy sector, namely with regard to knowledge of the different sources and forms of energy, of the different activities that integrate that sector (including production, storage, distribution, marketing and consumption) and the main interests underlying each of the same activities; (ii) to present students with a perspective of the historical evolution of energy law, its current situation and the trends of its future evolution (taking mainly the European Union Law as a reference but also trying a broader perspective, namely with regard to the particular consideration of systems in different stages of economic and social development; (iii) problematize the main interests that the law of energy raises, namely with regard to the compatibility of the energy availability at reasonable costs with the prevention or mitigation of the significant negative externalities that may result from the use of some of the main resources or the way on which they are used (namely in the environmental area); (v) identify the main legal instruments to which the different systems have typically resorted in order to make compatible the pursuit of said interests; and (vi) understand the permeability of the energy law to the external context in which it develops and, particularly with regard to the political, economic, social and even cultural circumstances that determine the main options that structure the energy law in any legal system.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Lúcio Tomé Feteira


Weekly - 2

Total - 24

Teaching language




Not Applicable


  • AA. VV., Temas de Direito da Energia, N.º 3, Cadernos O Direito (Coimbra: Almedina, 2008)
  • BLUMANN, Claude (sous la direction de), Vers une politique européenne de l¿énergie (Bruylant: 2012)
  • CROSSLEY, Penelope, Renewable Energy Law: An International Assessment (Cambridge University Press, 2019)
  • DEL GUAYO, Iñigo, Godden, Lee, Zillman, Donald D., Montoya, Milton Fernando, and González, José Juan (eds.), Energy Justice and Energy Law (Oxford University Press: 2020).
  • HEFFRON, Raphael J., Energy Law: An Introduction (Springer: 2015).
  • HUNTER, Tina; Herrera, Ignacio; Crossley, Penelope; and Alvarez, Gloria, Routledge Handbook of Energy Law (Routledge: 2020)
  • KLASS, Alexandra B.; and Wiseman, Hannah J., Energy Law: Concepts and Insights (Foundation Press: 2019)
  • KRÜGER, Heiko, European Energy Law and Policy: an Introduction (Edward Elgar: 2016)
  • LAMOUREUX, Marie, Droit de l¿énergie (LGDJ: 2020)
  • ROGGENKAMP, M; Redgwell, C.; Rønne, A.; and del Guayo, I (eds.), Energy Law in Europe; National and International Regulation (Oxford University Press: 2016)
  • RUSCHE, Tim Maxian, EU Renewable Electricity Law and Policy: from National Targets to Common Market (Cambridge University Press: 2015)
  • SANTOS, Filipe Matias, Temas de energia - Reflexões de Direito da Energia (Entidade Reguladora dos Serviços Energéticos: 2021) -ões-de-direito-de-energia.pdf
  • TALUS, Kim, Introduction to EU Energy Law (Oxford university Press: 2015)
  • TALUS, Kim, Research Handbook on International Energy Law (Edward Elgar: 2015)
  • TAVARES DA SILVA, Suzana, Estudos de Direito da Energia, (Coimbra: Universidade de Coimbra, 2017) <>
  • TAVARES DA SILVA, Suzana; e Soares, Cláudia Alexandra Dias, Direito das Energias Renováveis(Almedina: 2014).
  • TAVARES DA SILVA, Suzana, Direito da Energia (Coimbra Editora: 2012)
  • TOMAIN, Joseph P., Energy Law in a Nutshell (West Academic Publishing: 2017).
  • VILHENA DE FREITAS, Lourenço, Direito Administrativo da Energia (AAFDL: 2019)

Teaching method

The semester is divided into two phases comprising two different teaching methodologies. The first phase is essentially based on a presentation of the different matters undertaken by the lecturer or by experts invited to participate as guest speakers; in a second phase, aimed at the treatment of subjects of a more specific nature, the classes will be structured based on oral presentations previously prepared by the students and by discussion in the classroom of the works presented.

Evaluation method

Students can be evaluated pursuant to two alternative methods, to their choice: (i) by final written exam; or (ii) by the results of the work developed during the semester, which includes participation in the discussions held in the classroom regarding the subjects previously announced and the preparation of a written essay on any of the matters suggested and its presentation and discussion in the classroom.

Subject matter

I. Introduction 

  1. What is Energy Law? 
  2. Sources and forms of energy
  3. The value chain: production, storage, distribution, commercialisation, and consumption
  4. The energy trilemma
  5. Current issues and future challenges: an overview

II. International Energy Law 

  1. Introduction
  2. The WTO and Energy 
  3. Energy Community and Regional Integration Projects
  4. Energy Charter Treaty
  5. Bilateral Trade Agreements

III. EU Energy Law 

  1. Introduction
  2. Energy and market integration: the evolution of EU Energy Law; current challenges; landmark cases 
  3. Public law dimension 

         a) Foundations of the EU competence to regulate energy markets 

         b) Institutional arrangement (ACER, ENTSO-e, ENTSO-g) 

         c) Competition law 

         d) State aid and structural funds

     4. Market regulation dimension 

         a) Transmission and distribution services

         b) Wholesale market

         c) Flexibility markets

        d) Consumer law

IV. Implementation of the EU regulatory framework at the national level (overview) 

V. Climate change and energy 

  1. Energy transition and neutrality
  2. Clean and renewable energies

VI. Dispute settlement and litigation: international arbitration, climate litigation, consumer litigation and litigation against the State 

VII. Topics for discussion (to be presented and discussed in class by students

  1. Taxes and the energy sector
  2. The right to energy and just transition (access to energy; energy poverty; energy efficiency)
  3. The impact of innovation and technology in the energy sector (electric mobility; hydrogen; renewable gases)
  4. Paris Agreement: state of play and evolution perspectives
  5. Public service obligations and energy supply
  6. Consumer protection in the energy sector
  7. Flexibility and Demand Response
  8. Peer-to-peer trading and Energy communities 
  9. Smart cities and electrification of vehicles
  10. The European Climate Law and the EU Energy legislation
  11. The role of courts in furthering EU energy and climate goals