The European Commission (EC) on Wednesday proposed a temporary emergency regulation aimed at accelerating renewables permitting as part of efforts to end the EU's dependence on Russian gas.
The proposal calls for renewable energy plants to be presumed as being of overriding public interest, meaning that new permitting procedures will benefit with immediate effect from a simplified assessment for specific derogations foreseen in EU environmental legislation.
The regulation also seeks to speed up the deployment of solar equipment on artificial structures, such as buildings. It sets a deadline of one month for the permitting of solar equipment and its co-located storage and grid connections when it is not installed on natural ground.
The proposal further targets streamlining the permitting of repowering renewable energy projects by setting a deadline of six months. It also includes a simplified procedure for grid connections where the repowering does not increase the original capacity by more than 15%.
The EC also proposes to accelerate the permit-granting procedures for heat pumps.
The measure will apply for one year, in which time the Renewable Energy Directive is expected to be adopted by member states. The EC said that the energy crisis has worsened since the publication of the REPowerEU plan in May, which warrants urgent action.
“Today’s proposals can make a difference already in the coming months and directly benefit citizens and businesses,” said Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson.
Wind industry group WindEurope on Tuesday said that the EC was set to propose an emergency regulation to speed up permitting of renewable energy projects. There is however a difference in the details provided.
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