The European Council today (9 October) adopted the new Renewable Energy Directive to raise the share of renewable energy in the EU’s overall energy consumption to 42.5% by 2030 – up from the current 32% target.
The directive also includes measures to accelerate permitting procedures for renewable energy projects.
Member states must design acceleration areas where renewable energy projects will undergo simplified and faster permit-granting processes.
Renewable energy deployment will also be presumed to be of ‘overriding public interest’, which will limit the grounds of legal objections to new installations.
National authorities should approve new projects within one year if the project is planned inside a so-called ‘go-to area’ – an area deemed suitable for renewables, in which projects could normally go ahead without further environmental assessments – or within two years if the project is located outside of such an area.
The directive now needs to be published in the EU’s official journal and come into force 20 days later. Member states will then have 18 months to transpose it into national legislation.