The European Commission has proposed a new temporary emergency regulation to accelerate the deployment of renewable energy sources. Under the proposal, renewable energy plants would be presumed to be of overriding public interest. This would allow new permitting procedures to benefit with immediate effect from a simplified assessment for specific derogations foreseen in EU environmental legislation.

The Commission proposed a maximum deadline of one month for the permitting process for solar energy equipment and its co-located storage and grid connections when it is not installed on natural ground. The proposed Council Regulation also exempts these installations from the need to carry out certain environmental assessments. Introducing the concept of ‘positive administrative silence’ in the relevant permit-granting procedures aims to promote and accelerate the deployment of small-scale installations.

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