EU Parliament votes for faster approval deadlines for renewable energy installations

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The European Parliament has voted in favour of faster approval deadlines for new renewable energy installations, with a view to the law being finalised in 2023, following talks with EU member states, reported Edie.
The REpowerEU package seeks to enhance the union's energy independence, and the proposal was put forward by the European Commission on 18 May 2022.
The proposed law intends to hasten the process of issuing permits for developing new renewable energy power plants - enhancing the EU's domestic production capability. It proposes a maximum of nine months for "renewables acceleration areas", which would be determined by each EU Member State, depending on local circumstances.
If the relevant authority fails to respond prior to the deadline, the request will be deemed approved.
MEPs have now approved amendments to the final text, with 407 votes in favour, 34 against, and 181 abstentions. However, EU member states still need to approve the text prior to its becoming enshrined in law. EU countries are likely to take a stance on Monday 19 December, which would set forth talks with the European Parliament to finalise the law in early 2023.
“The vote today is a positive contribution to a faster energy transition,” said Markus Pieper, a German conservative MEP who steered the file through Parliament for the centre-right European People’s Party (EPP).
“The less approval bureaucracy, the higher the share of renewable energies, which will ultimately lead to decreasing energy prices.”
“I want to thank the Parliament for its broad support for the measures that we proposed. Several of your amendments would strengthen our proposal,” said Commission’s Vice-President Frans Timmermans, who addressed MEPs in Strasbourg on Tuesday (13 December).
“I am very grateful, for instance, for your proposed shortening of permitting deadlines, both within and outside the so-called ‘go-to areas’. Ambitious deadlines for approval can obviously make a huge difference,” he added.
A last-minute amendment tabled by the EPP group enables the possibility for biomass combustion plants to be included in the fast-track permitting scheme.
“Renewables acceleration areas should at least be established for wind turbines and solar plants and could be established for biomethane production plants,” states the final text voted on by MEPs.
Biomass plants are in principle "excluded from the renewables acceleration areas", but an exception may be granted "for installations located in an outermost region".

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