- Reuters says the EU is planning to cut down permitting processes for certain renewable energy projects to 1 year to speed up their deployment
- It will consider projects for go-to-areas for land and sea with low environmental impact
- Plans also include rooftop solar deployment and building skill set of workers in the solar sector
To accelerate phasing out of Russian natural gas from its energy system, the European Union (EU) seems to be contemplating a faster permitting process for renewables, with solar energy in focus and a European Solar Rooftops Initiative in the offing, according to draft documents, reported Reuters.
The European Commission (EC) is currently working on a document for permitting for renewables, and also on Solar Strategy, which is scheduled to be published on May 18, 2022.
The EC seems to be aiming for permitting processes for some renewable energy projects to come down to a year, compared to the current norm of 2 years extended by another year, as per the documents seen by Reuters.
To be considered for this reduced timeline, the criteria will be set as go-to-areas for land and sea with low environmental impact, suitable for such plants.
Beyond the 1-year limit, the permitting process can be extended by a maximum of 3 months but only in extraordinary circumstances. However, projects that do not meet the criteria will undergo the 2-year permitting process.
Another draft shows the EU lawmakers seem to be getting ready to launch a European Solar Rooftops Initiative to cut down reliance on gas for power and heating in homes, offices, shops and factories. Rooftop solar projects should have a permitting timeline not exceeding 3 months.
Plans also include training and building skill set of workers in the solar sector under a EU Solar Industry Alliance.
Switch over to renewables will also help fight climate change, bring down high electricity prices, and supply affordable and stable electricity.
SolarPower Europe (SPE) batted for faster permitting for renewables in the EU which can help reach a TW level for solar by 2030 after the official initiative REPowerEU proposed to target 420 GW (AC) of additional solar capacity for the bloc by 2030 (see EU’s REPowerEU To Reduce Russia Reliance Short On Solar).
Recently, TaiyangNews held a European Solar Developments 2022 webinar wherein participants stressed that political will is necessary to boost solar installations.