Boost for EU’s renewable energy plans amid energy crisis

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MEPs have backed plans to boost the deployment of more renewables across member states.
A proposed new law will accelerate the procedure to grant permits for new renewable energy power plants or to adapt existing ones.
In their amendments to the Commission proposal, MEPs shortened the maximum period to approve new installations from 12 to nine months, if located in so-called "renewables acceleration areas".
These will be marked out by each member state depending on whether they are able to install renewables at a faster pace. If the competent authority does not respond by the deadline, the permit or request is deemed to be approved - following the so-called “positive silence” principle.
Outside such areas, the process should not exceed 18 months, MEPs said, and not two years as originally proposed. On repowering existing renewable energy plants, MEPs want the permit-granting process to not exceed six months.
When establishing the rules for the designated renewable acceleration areas, EU countries must avoid or, if not possible, significantly reduce the negative environmental impact that may arise for such areas.
In order to bring more renewable energy to the grid without delay, MEPs also incorporated elements of a recent Commission proposal tabled under the so-called “emergency procedure”, so that most of the provisions would already come into force in 2023.
“Today, we laid the foundations for permanently faster processes to issue permits, to be able to use renewable energies more quickly and thus boost the energy transition. We introduced new measures giving member states and their authorising authorities more leeway, such as the principle of ‘Positive silence’ within renewables acceleration areas on the understanding that renewable energy projects are of overriding public interest and can benefit from simplified assessment for specific derogations in EU environmental legislation,”said lead MEP Markus Pieper (EPP, DE).

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