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Two years of REPowerEU: how to accelerate renewable deployment?


Approaching the two-year mark since the REPowerEU Plan's adoption, the Commission is now offering additional assistance to Member States to expedite renewable energy deployment and diminish reliance on Russian fossil fuel imports. The Commission has endorsed a series of fresh and revised recommendations and guidance documents to enhance and streamline permitting processes and auctions for renewables.

These resources aim to facilitate the implementation of the EU framework for renewable energy by creating more favorable conditions for the rapid expansion of domestically produced renewable energy. By stimulating demand for European-made clean technologies, this initiative will also bolster industrial competitiveness, enhance energy system resilience, and uphold the objectives of the European Green Deal.

More rapid and streamlined permitting processes

In the updated Recommendation issued regarding expediting permit-granting procedures, alongside its corresponding guidance, the Commission outlines strategies for enhancing planning and permitting processes concerning renewable energy and associated infrastructure projects across the EU.

The revised permitting guidance furnishes instances of exemplary practices for expediting and simplifying permit-granting procedures, underscores the significance of digitalization and community involvement, addresses human resources and skills considerations, and delineates optimal approaches for managing site selection procedures and network connections.

Furthermore, the Commission has adopted additional guidance pertaining to the identification of renewables acceleration zones. As per the amended Renewable Energy Directive, these zones encompass locations where the implementation of renewable energy projects is anticipated to have minimal environmental ramifications, thus warranting expedited procedures to facilitate swift deployment of specific technologies.

Key criteria for selecting such zones encompass the availability of digital planning and mapping tools, along with data pertaining to renewable energy capacity and potential environmental impact. In its guidance, the Commission also emphasizes the importance of effective stakeholder engagement and public consultation to facilitate the successful designation of these acceleration zones.

Enhanced auction configuration

Auctions are pivotal in facilitating the expansion of renewable energy, and when properly structured, can contribute to the consistent and sustainable advancement of the EU economy. By delineating standardized elements for auction design in the realm of renewable energy, the Commission's recommendation and guidance aim to promote greater uniformity and efficiency in these processes, aligning with the objectives outlined in the Net-Zero Industry Act.

The Recommendation and accompanying Guidance document released are intended to assist Member States in crafting auctions that prioritize objectives such as quality, resilience enhancement, and environmental sustainability. Incorporating non-price criteria will enable the recognition of projects with higher value-added, fostering the development of Europe's net-zero technology manufacturing ecosystem and ensuring the timely and comprehensive realization of projects. This synchronization will ensure that the transition to clean energy is coupled with a robust industrial foundation in Europe.

Additionally, to augment visibility and predictability for investors throughout the entire renewable energy value chain, the Commission has updated the Union Renewables Development Platform today. This online platform serves as a repository where Member States will publish essential information regarding their auction schedules.

This information encompasses auction timing and frequency, auctioned capacity, allocated budget, and eligible technologies, as mandated by the Renewable Energy Directive. The Platform serves as a centralized resource, providing companies with comprehensive information on all planned renewable energy auctions across the EU.

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