The European Parliament voted on Wednesday (14 December) in favour of faster approval deadlines for new renewable energy installations, paving the way for talks with EU member states to finalise the law next year.
The proposal was tabled by the European Commission on 18 May as part of the REpowerEU package. MEPs approved amendments to the final text, with 407 votes in favour, 34 against, and 181 abstentions.
The aim of the proposed law is to accelerate the permitting procedure for new renewable energy power plants, thus boosting the EU’s domestic production capacity.
EU member states still have to give their approval to the text before it can become law. EU countries are currently examining the Commission’s proposal and are expected to take a stance on Monday, opening the way for talks with Parliament to finalise the law after the new year.
‘Renewables acceleration areas’
The revised text proposes shorter deadlines to approve new installations, with a maximum of nine months for so-called “renewables acceleration areas”, which will be determined by each EU country depending on local circumstances.
Following the “positive silence” principle, the request will be deemed approved in case the competent authority does not respond before the deadline. Outside of these areas, the acceleration process should not exceed 18 months.
Under the proposal, renewable energy projects will be considered of “overriding public interest” and can therefore benefit from simplified procedures and specific derogations from the EU’s environmental legislation.
Alongside this, EU countries will have to make sure that permits to install solar energy equipment on buildings are delivered within one month, while a notification procedure will be enough when it comes to smaller installations below 50 kilowatt.