Sicily rewrites rules for authorising wind plant

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Sicily's regional government is rewriting the rules for authorising wind power stations. According to the office of the region's environmental assessor, a new decree expected to take effect shortly makes an environmental impact assessment obligatory for all wind energy projects, a requirement that previously only applied to projects of 20 MW or more. There will also be a ban on constructing wind farms within two kilometres of protected areas and the establishment of a minimum of four kilometres between wind farms. Developers will also be required to commission an independent study to ensure that the economic benefits of a project justify the costs. While the region would seem to be adding new obligations to wind developers with the law, it says that other measures are designed to simplify the authorisation process. There are six wind farms operating in Sicily, although the assessor's office said there are plans for another 100.

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