EU set to roll out permits for renewable energy projects faster

The European Commission is expected to propose faster approval for renewable energy projects next week as part of its plan to increase the use of renewable energy to reduce dependence on Russian energy and accelerate the energy transition, said Reuters reported on Monday, citing a draft document. had seen.

After Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, the EU signaled that doubling down on renewables was a way to reduce its dependence on Russian oil and gas.

The Commission’s REPowerEU plan to make Europe independent of Russian fossil fuels well before 2030 includes diversifying gas supplies, accelerating the deployment of renewable gases, increasing electricity generation from renewable energies and the replacement of gas in heating and electricity production.

“The sooner we switch to renewables and hydrogen, combined with more energy efficiency, the sooner we will be truly independent and in control of our energy system,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in early March. presentation of the plan.

The Commission is now due to detail next week how the EU could achieve these goals. The proposals are expected to include a requirement for EU member states to designate onshore or offshore “destination areas” they deem appropriate for developing renewable energy projects with low environmental impact.

“The permitting process for new projects located in renewable energy hotspots should not exceed one year,” according to the document seen by Reuters.

Renewable energy associations have for years pointed to the slow pace of permits as a major obstacle for the EU to advance its green energy goals. For example, WindEurope’s annual statistical report revealed in February that the problem is not the government’s ambition, but its authorisation.

“Most EU countries have ambitious national targets for wind energy expansion. But licensing remains the main bottleneck. Europe does not allow anything comparable to the volumes of new parks wind farms needed. And almost none of the member states are meeting the deadlines for the permit procedures required in the European Renewable Energy Directive. The permit rules and procedures are too complex,” said the European energy association. ‘wind power.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for

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Felix J. Dixon