Europe launches an emergency rule to unlock renewable shutdowns
In order to facilitate the deployment of renewable energy sources, the European Commission (EC) has proposed a new temporary emergency regulation with a simplified legislative framework to streamline permits for certain solar energy equipment and projects and technologies such as heat pumps. The proposal of the Community Executive responds to the order agreed by the Heads of State and Government of the EU and aims to diversify supplies, save energy and speed up disconnection with Russian fossil fuels, according to the body chaired by Ursula von der Leyen.
There are many projects that are stopped waiting for permits, and this situation was something that worried the sector and that large companies had denounced, as reported by La Información.
Specific, Brussels proposes that renewable energy plants be considered “overriding public interest“, which would allow them to have new authorization procedures and a simplified assessment in certain cases and clarifies the scope of application of some rules contained in the Birds and Habitat directives. The Commission also proposes that solar energy and storage equipment ” on-site”, as well as network connections, be approved within a maximum period of one month and exempts these facilities from the obligation to carry out certain environmental assessments and also wants to speed up the obtaining of permits for theto “repowering” existing plants.
The proposed regulation of the Community Executive also speeds up the procedures for granting permits for heat pumps, through the introduction of a maximum period of three months and a simplified procedure for connecting smaller devices to the network. The regulations will be dealt with through the article 122 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU to speed up the procedures, for which it requires that it be approved by the countries but not by the European Parliament.
Von Der Leyen bets on clean energies
For her part, the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, warned on Wednesday that, despite the measures adopted to compensate for the drop in Russian gas exports to Europe since the beginning of the war, filling the European deposits of this resource next year will be “even more difficult” by new factors that would come into play. “Since the beginning of the war, Putin has cut 80% of his gas exports by pipeline to Europe. In just eight months, we have managed to replace most of it.”
The president of the Community Executive recalled thate Russia could reduce its gas supply to Europe to zero, that global liquefied natural gas capacity “will not grow fast enough” to fill this gap and that economic growth in Asia could “absorb most of this additional liquefied natural gas.” Looking ahead to next year, which will begin with a new proposal from Brussels to redesign the electricity market, Von der Leyen considered key “use this crisis to make a leap towards clean energy”which will benefit the climate as well as European energy security.
“There are countless renewable projects that are waiting to be approved (…) and are stuck due to lengthy clearance procedures. With the extraordinary circumstances facing our citizens and industries, we cannot afford the time,” he said. The proposal will allow, he said, unlock “a myriad of renewable projects already in the next twelve months” that would make it possible to replace 14,000 million cubic meters of gas next year.
For his part, the President of the European Council, Charles Michaelwarned that “postponing the taking of measures” to reduce energy prices and relieve business consumers “is no longer an option” and recalled that the twenty seven commissioned the Commission to work on actions in precisely that direction. “It is time to launch our joint purchase of gas. It is vital that we negotiate effectively and quickly with our close allies. Our prosperity and economic security is also yours,” he said.
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