Expert advice on spatial planning for renewable energy sources and land hierarchy conflict

In response to the Commission’s communication on March 8, 2022, titled “RePowerEU: Joint European Action for more affordable, secure, and sustainable energy,” EU Member States have been called upon to diversify their energy sources and reduce dependence on fossil fuels. To facilitate the rapid development of renewable energy projects while minimizing their territorial impact, the European Commission introduced several key initiatives as part of the “REPowerEU Plan.” These include amendments to Directive (EU) 2018/2001 (RED), which proposed the designation of renewable energy areas with streamlined environmental licensing. Additionally, Regulation (EU) 2022/2577, adopted on December 22, 2022, aimed to expedite renewable energy deployment over an 18-month period. In its article 6, it is established that Member States may grant exemptions, in relation to environmental impact assessments and species protection assessments, as long as the project is located in a specific energy zone renewable energy and that it has previously been subject to a strategic environmental assessment (SEA). These provisions have been refined and confirmed beyond the 18-months period of application of Regulation (EU) 2022/2577 by the revised RED, finally adopted on October 9, 2023. Among the main novelties introduced by the revised RED are two provisions that require Member State to engage in mapping and spatial planning for renewable energy production.

This analysis is part of the RENewLand project. RENewLand is part of the European Climate Initiative (EUKI) of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK).

Read more about RENewLand.

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