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Enabling framework for renewables

To simplify permitting processes for renewable energy projects, facilitate power purchase agreements and empower citizens.

Permitting processes

In some EU countries, permitting processes can be an obstacle to renewable energy projects in general. To address the issue, the revised Renewable Energy Directive (2018/2001/EU) includes provisions that simplify permitting processes. This will help setting in motion renewable energy projects, while taking into account legitimate concerns of citizens and respecting environmental standard.

In the Communication “REPowerEU: Joint EU action for more affordable, secure and sustainable energy”, published on 8 March 2022, the Commission proposes a series of measures to respond to rising energy prices and to break the EU’s dependence on Russian fossil fuels well before 2030. To accelerate renewable energy projects and remove remaining administrative obstacles, simpler and shorter procedures for permitting are needed. To this end, the Commission will publish in May 2022 a recommendation on fast permitting for renewable energy projects. To gather relevant inputs from stakeholders, a call for evidence and a public consultation were published on 18 January 2022.

Power purchase agreements

Renewable power purchase agreements (PPAs) – direct contracts between corporate companies and electricity suppliers – are expected to become a major driver for more market-based renewables deployment in the coming years. However, the take-up of this concept has been much slower than expected.

The planned guidance on permit-granting processes and PPAs will therefore provide recommendations on how best to facilitate power purchase agreements.

Renewable energy communities

The revised Renewable Energy Directive places a strong emphasis on citizens while also making it easier for them to consume and produce renewable energy.

By introducing provisions on renewable energy communities, the directive gives citizens the possibility to jointly engage in renewable energy projects. Empowering citizens in the clean energy transition may also help increase the local acceptance of renewable energy projects.

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