European MEPs have backed plans to boost the deployment of renewables.
The proposal would accelerate the procedure to grant permits for new renewable energy power plants.
In their amendments to the Commission proposal, MEPs in the Industry, Energy and Research Committee shortened the maximum period to approve new installations from 12 to nine months, if located in the 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.
The new permit-granting process would cover all administrative steps to build, repower and operate plants for the production of renewable energy, including hybrid power plants. It would also cover storage, connection to the grid and the integration of renewables into heating and cooling networks.
“Today, we have laid the foundation for permanently faster processes to issue permits thereby accelerating the deployment of renewable energies and thus boosting the energy transition. We introduced some 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).
“We also targeted and boosted some specific technologies, such as solar or wind power, as these are some of the cheapest sources of electricity and can be deployed rapidly to benefit citizens and businesses and to decrease our dependence on fossil fuels and ensure security of supply,” he added.
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