EU seeks one-year limit for renewable energy permission process


EU seeks one-year limit for renewable energy permission process


The European Commission aims to accelerate the bloc’s green transition and to wean itself off Russian resources by allowing some renewable energy projects to acquire permits within a year, Reuters reported on Monday, quoting a draft document.

The European executive next week will announce a package of measures aimed at reducing the bloc’s dependency on Russia by boosting renewable energy, saving energy, and increasing gas imports from elsewhere.

According to the draft legislative proposal, the European Commission will propose rules requiring countries to designate “go-to zones” of land or water appropriate for renewable energy, where such projects would have a low environmental impact.

The permit-granting process for new projects located in renewables go-to zones cannot exceed one year, the paper stated, adding that in exceptional situations, this may be extended by three months.

Currently, the EU’s timetable for approving such plans is two years, which can be extended by an additional year. The draft stated that projects outside of go-to locations would adhere to this schedule.

Renewable projects frequently face much lengthier delays due to red tape, local opposition, or concerns about safeguarding endangered species, creating concerns that the bloc may struggle to increase wind and solar energy quickly enough to fulfill climate goals.

According to the draft proposal, permitting and constructing renewable energy projects would be labeled as being in the ‘overriding public interest,’ allowing for a simpler review.

Go-to areas would avoid protected areas or bird migration routes and would prioritize constructed areas such as rooftops, roads and trains, industrial sites, and public land surrounding them.

The overall areas would be subject to an environmental evaluation, but individual projects would not be required unless they would have a major impact on the environment in another EU country, according to the draft proposal.

Smaller projects with less than 150 KW capacity in go-to zones could benefit from a six-month permitting process, or nine months if there are safety or grid impact concerns.

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