The European Commission proposes accelerated permitting for renewables   

On 9 November 2022, the European Commission (“the Commission”) proposed a temporary emergency regulation to accelerate the deployment of renewable energy sources (“the Regulation”).

The regulation complements the urgent measures the Commission has taken in recent months to tackle the emergency situation on the energy markets. It will apply temporarily for a period of 1 year covering the time needed to adopt and transpose the proposal to amend the Renewable Energy Directive (REDII). The European Commission adopted the proposal to amend REDII on 18 May 2022 and it is currently being worked on by the European Parliament and the Council.

The Regulation targets specific technologies and types of projects that have a high potential for rapid deployment and the least environmental impact. The key takeaways are:

With regard to solar energy

It is proposed that the permitting process for solar energy equipment and its co-located storage and grid connections should not exceed one month.

With regard to renewable power plants:

✓ it is proposed that the new maximum six-month timeframe for granting permits applicable to the repowering of renewable energy projects should include all the relevant environmental assessments;   

✓ it is clarified that these environmental impact assessments are limited to an assessment of the potential impacts arising from the change or extension compared to the original project.

With regard to the technology to produce renewable heating and cooling (heat pumps   

✓ it is proposed to accelerate permit-granting procedures for the installation of heat pumps by introducing a three month maximum deadline;   

✓ it is proposed to introduce a simplified procedure for connecting smaller heat pumps to the grid.