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Wind and energy projects in Germany could be approved faster with new measures

origin 1The German cabinet approved EU emergency measures to push the country’s renewable expansion. ©REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer/File photos

Germany aims to generate 80% of its electricity from renewable energies by 2030. This goal has so far been hampered by bureaucracy.

Renewable energy is key as the country seeks to become independent of Russian gas imports while pursuing ambitious climate goals. Yet the wind and solar projects are currently subject to lengthy paperwork and lengthy decision-making and approval processes.

New emergency regulations, agreed at EU level in December and approved by German Cabinet on Monday, they aim to accelerate the expansion of renewable energy by cutting some of that red tape.

How does Germany intend to remove the bureaucracy for renewables?

Under the new measures, which still need to be voted on in parliament, wind and solar projects would be approved more quickly. This will be achieved by simplifying licensing and setting deadlines for authorization procedures.

In some areas, such as landfills, permitting procedures for solar power projects would be limited to three months and one month for smaller heat pumps.

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New renewable energy projects will be granted “overriding public interest” status. This would give the competent authorities the possibility to expedite approvals for wind energy installations.

Standards for storage the assessment of wind turbines and power lines is also simplified. In some areas only one environmental assessment will be required, eliminating the need for environmental impact assessments and species protection assessments.

The new measures will apply to all projects from June 2024.

How does the EU support the German renewable energy industry?

Last month, the EU approved 28 billion euros pattern aimed at the rapid expansion of the use of wind and solar energy in Germany. The scheme pays a premium to renewable energy producers on top of the market price they receive for selling their energy.

Germany expects to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions emissions by 2045. Expanding clean energy generation will be key to achieving this goal.

In 2022, renewable energies accounted for almost 47% of German energy consumption. This was an increase of nearly 5 percent over the previous year thanks to favorable weather conditions.