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Portugal

Portugal

EC warns Portugal on 2010 wind farm law

PORTUGAL: A 2010 Portuguese law that exempts upgrades on existing wind farms from environmental impact assessment breaches two EU directives, the European Commission has warned.

The commission expressed concern that wind farms are being allowed to expand without adequate evaluation, with potentially serious consequences for Natura 2000 protected sites.

It has sent Portugal a reasoned opinion requiring it to revise the law to ensure it doesn't breach the environmental impact assessment and habitats directives.

The law concerned, DL 51/2010, states that upgrades of wind farms by up to an additional 20 turbines, or an additional 10 turbines in sensitive areas, "do not have a significant negative impact on the environment" and therefore do not require environmental impact assessments.

Up to 400MW of installed capacity earmarked for upgrading could be affected by the commission's decision, said a spokeswoman for Portuguese renewable energies association APREN.

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