European Parliament speeds up approval time for renewable energy plants

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Within the” acceleration areas ” identified by the Member States, they must not exceed 9 months, twice as long outside: to date, in Italy, the permit lasts on average about 7 years

While European Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans spoke at Cop27 declaring that the EU is ready to further raise its commitment to the climate crisis, raising the cut in its CO2eq emissions by 2030 from 55% to “at least 57%” (compared to 1990), the European Parliament is working to make this possible by accelerating the deployment of renewable energy.

As part of the European Commission’s REPO initiative to tackle the energy and climate crisis we are going through, the European Parliament’s Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (Itre) approved – with 49 votes in favour, 3 against and 8 abstentions – an amendment to shorten the time frame for authorisations for renewable energy plants.

The proposal, which will be put to a vote again during the next plenary assembly of the European Parliament, calls for reducing from 12 to 9 months the maximum period for evaluating projects if they are located in the so-called “acceleration areas” for renewables, which each Member State will be called upon to identify; if the authority responsible for evaluating the project does not respond within the deadline indicated, the authorization will be considered granted on the basis of the principle of silence-assent.

Even outside the acceleration areas, the European Parliament calls for the permit process for renewable energy plants not to exceed 18 months, rather than two years as originally proposed.

On the other hand, as regards the repoering

“We have laid the foundations for faster and faster processes for granting permits, accelerating the deployment of renewable energy and thus stimulating the energy transition,” comments German MEP Markus Pieper (EPP),”We have introduced some new measures that give greater leeway to Member States and their competent authorities, such as the principle of ‘silent consent’ within the acceleration areas, provided that renewable energy projects are of overriding public interest and can benefit from a simplified assessment with specific derogations from EU environmental legislation.

This is a particularly challenging approach for our country, identified as the worst in Europe for the permitting process linked to renewables, given that in Italy it lasts on average about 7 years.

It is no coincidence that in recent years our country has slowed down very much the cutting of greenhouse gas emissions (between 2014 and 2021 they have reduced by only 3%), and in the same way between 2015 and 2019 renewable sources have grown by only 3% in Italy, compared to an EU average of 13%.

Said differently, between 2014 and 2020 in Italy the average growth of the share of renewables in final consumption was just 0.5% each year, the lowest value among large European countries.

A trend that is preventing Italy both to fully play its role against the ongoing climate crisis, and to deploy the only structural response to the energy crisis that weighs on bills. As documented by Legambiente, if the development of renewables – limiting the analysis for simplicity to solar and wind – had gone ahead with the same average annual increase recorded in the three-year period 2010-2013 (equal to 5.9 g l’per year, against the current figure of about 1 gW The european initiative RePowerEu is now the opportunity to change direction: to conform to the dictates of Italy is called to install about 10 GW of renewable energy plants in the year 2030.

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