EU Enhances Guidance on Permitting and Auction Design for Renewable Energy
2024-05-15 14:27

The European Commission has released revised guidelines to its member states aimed at accelerating the permitting processes and structuring auctions for renewable energy projects. These updates introduce the incorporation of non-price criteria in the auction evaluations, which the Commission believes will enable the selection and reward of projects that offer greater added value.

The European Commission has adopted a series of new and updated guidelines designed to enhance and streamline the permitting processes and auctions for renewable energy projects across its member states.

The updated recommendations for expediting permit granting procedures showcase best practices and emphasize the importance of digitalization, community participation, and skilled human resources. They also provide guidance on managing site selection processes and network connections.

The Commission has revised its Renewable Energy Directive to identify areas where renewable energy projects can be deployed with minimal environmental impact, enabling faster approval processes. The revision emphasizes the importance of effective stakeholder engagement and public consultation to ensure the successful designation of these accelerated deployment areas.

The Commission has also updated its guidance for auction design to align with the Net Zero Industry Act, aiming to streamline procedures and enhance efficiency. The update introduces non-price criteria to reward higher value-added projects. Maroš Šefčovič, Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal, stated that this inclusion will "give our industry a chance to prosper at home and compete on a level playing field."

Additionally, the Commission has updated its Union Renewables Development Platform. This online system allows member states to publish key information about their auction schedules, serving as a central hub for all planned renewable energy auctions across the EU.

"Increased predictability and faster permitting are crucial for sending the right investment signals throughout the renewable energy value chain," said Kadri Simson, Commissioner for Energy. "The Commission's new guidance will help Member States expedite the deployment of renewables." These updates arrive nearly two years after the EU adopted the REPowerEU Plan, aimed at eliminating the need for Russian fossil fuel imports across member states.

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