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European Commission presents package of guidelines and recommendations to accelerate the deployment of renewables

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European Commission presents package of guidelines and recommendations to accelerate the deployment of renewables

Image: European Commission

Almost two years since the adoption of the REPowerEU Plan, the Commission is providing additional support to Member States to further accelerate the deployment of renewable energy and reduce Russian fossil fuel imports. The Commission has adopted a series of new and updated recommendations and guidance documents to improve and streamline permitting procedures and auctions for renewables. These documents will help to implement the EU framework for renewable energy by improving the conditions for a rapid deployment of home-grown renewable energy. By boosting demand for clean technologies made in Europe, this initiative will also help reinforce industrial competitiveness, increase the resilience of the energy system, and deliver on the European Green Deal.

Faster and simpler permitting procedures

In the updated Recommendation on speeding up permit-granting procedures and its accompanying guidance adopted Monday, the Commission highlights ways to improve planning and permitting procedures for renewable energy and related infrastructure projects in the EU. The updated permitting guidance provides examples of good practice on faster and simpler permit-granting procedures, highlights the importance of digitalisation and community participation, human resources and skills; and outlines how to best handle site selection procedures and network connections.

The Commission has also adopted a further guidance document on designating renewables acceleration areas. Under the revised Renewable Energy Directive, these are locations where the deployment of renewable energy projects is not expected to have significant environmental impacts and the necessary procedures are therefore fast-tracked to ensure quick deployment of specific technologies. Key elements for selecting such areas are the availability of digital tools for planning and mapping, and data on the renewable energy capacity and on the potential environmental impact. In its guidance, the Commission also highlights the role of proper stakeholder engagement and public consultation to facilitate a successful designation of such acceleration areas.

Improved auction design

Auctions play a key role in the roll-out of renewable energy and, when well designed, can be supportive of the steady and sustainable growth of the EU economy. By outlining standard elements for the design of auctions for renewable energy, the Commission recommendation and guidance will make these procedures more harmonised and efficient, in line with the Net-Zero Industry Act. The Recommendation and accompanying Guidance document will help Member States to design auctions that take into consideration objectives such as quality, contribution to resilience and environmental sustainability. The use of non-price criteria will allow higher value-added projects to be rewarded. It will help to develop Europe net-zero technology manufacturing ecosystem and ensure that projects are realised fully and on time. This will ensure that the clean energy transition goes hand in hand with a strong industrial base in Europe.

To further enhance visibility and predictability for investors across the whole renewables value chain, the Commission has also updated the Union Renewables Development Platform, an online system where Member States will publish basic information about their auction schedules. This information should include the timing and frequency of the auctions, the auctioned capacity, the planned budget and the eligible technologies – as required by the Renewable Energy Directive. The Platform will provide companies with a single point of information for all renewable energy auctions planned across the EU.


Source: European Commission