Key step for national land use plan approval

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Greece moved a step closer to getting its long-awaited land use plan for renewable energy when prime minister Costas Karamanlis approved the overarching national land use plan, which was expected to go to parliament before the end of last month. "We have no objections to the national plan, which is generally okay," says Emmanuel Maragoudakis, managing director of Greek developer-operator Terna Energy. "The important thing is that it is passed as soon as possible to open the way for the renewable energy plan." The latter has now been circulated and submissions are being assessed by a committee charged with making a recommendation to the development minister. "Some improvements have been made to the draft plan since last year and we hope other points will be accepted," says Maragoudakis. Stumbling blocks remains, however, as Ioannis Tsipouridis, president of the Hellenic Wind Energy Association (HWEA), points out. "While there has been a lot of pressure on the minister to take account of objections from the wind industry, there are also a lot of groups who want to limit the development of wind plant in Greece," he says. The final plan will be the subject of a ministerial decree, which the industry hopes will be issued before the summer.

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