- The European Parliament has voted to speed up permitting for renewable energy projects
- In conducive regions, permitting for such projects should be cleared within 12 months, and not exceed 24 months outside
- MEPs have agreed to have such investments deemed as approved in the absence of administrative feedback
The European Union (EU) nations will need to speed up permitting procedures for new renewable energy power plants after the European Parliament voted to raise the share of renewables in the bloc’s final energy consumption to 42.5% by 2030, setting a target of 45% for member states.
New renewable energy projects will now be able to secure permits within 12 months if located in areas conducive for such installations, and not exceeding 24 months for facilities planned outside of those as per the Renewable Energy Directive (RED).
Lead Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Markus Pieper said, “Under the principle of ‘Positive silence’, investments will be deemed approved in the absence of administrative feedback.”
Of the newly installed renewable energy capacity, member states will be expected to ensure at least 5% quota for innovative renewable technology projects, and also ensure a binding framework for cross-border energy projects.
Even in the transport sector, the parliament wants renewable energy to help bring down GHG emissions by 14.5% by 2030.
“This directive is evidence that Brussels can be unbureaucratic and pragmatic. We have designated renewables as an overriding public interest, streamlining their approval process. Our focus encompasses wind power, photovoltaics, hydropower, geothermal energy, and tidal currents,” added Pieper.
He added, “We now urgently need an EU electricity market design and an immediate shift to hydrogen for a greener transition.”
The update of the RED is already agreed upon by the MEPs and the European Council, as part of the bloc’s efforts under REPowerEU package to reduce its dependence on fossil fuel imports from Russia and speed up a sustainable energy transition (see EU Settles For 42.5% RE Target For 2030).
Having cleared the parliament vote with 470 votes to 120, the legislation will need to be formally endorsed by the European Council to become a law.
Welcoming the adoption of RED, SolarPower Europe’s (SPE) CEO Walburga Hemetsberger stated, “Now we need to make sure we ensure implementation comes as quickly as possible. And can’t forget this is happening in a context of an immediate crisis in the solar supply chain.”
Hemetsberger is referring to solar module costs having dropped down to under €0.15/W in recent times as low-priced Chinese modules pile up in European warehouses, slowing down demand for domestically manufactured products. SPE is worried it may lead to more solar companies going bankrupt like Norwegian Crystals (see European PV Industry Worried About Low Module Prices).