In their latest meeting in Brussels, the European Union’s energy ministers agreed to extend three emergency regulations. These are aimed at speeding up the expansion of renewable energy, ensuring gas solidarity measures in the member states and providing a mechanism for market correction in the event of excessive gas prices.
The regulations that will enable faster approval of renewable energy and power grid projects by mid-2025 are particularly noteworthy. These regulations could cut construction times for new onshore wind turbines by more than a year and are already part of German law. The EU emergency regulations allow exemptions from lengthy procedural steps in planning and approval processes with a view to boosting the expansion of renewable energy across the bloc.
“With the decisions taken today, we can make faster progress with 7,000 kilometres of grid and wind power projects with a capacity of 40 gigawatts. And strong population protection will continue to ensure the conservation of endangered species. This shows that the Green Deal continues in earnest. With the EU emergency regulation now extended, we can benefit from the faster planning and approval processes until mid-2025. This will substantially strengthen the ongoing moves to expand wind turbines and power grids”, says Sven Giegold, state secretary at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action.
The EU’s current legislative proposals in the energy sector are another point of discussion. In recent weeks, political agreements have been reached on various dossiers in the context of the Fit for 55 energy sector programme. This includes the EU’s Methane Regulation, Energy Performance of Buildings Directive and gas market package. “The negotiations on the EU’s Methane Regulation, Energy Performance of Buildings Directive and gas market package are important milestones in the European Green Deal. In taking these steps, Europe is making a clear statement of intent in terms of climate action and transitioning to green energy in an environmentally friendly and socially conscious manner”, says Giegold.
It was in this light that the joint communiqué by the Friends of Renewables was handed over to the EU’s energy commissioner, Kadri Simson. The Friends of Renewables’ main aim is to make further progress with expanding renewable power. The signatories stressed the importance of energy security in Europe and pledged to help enhance the conditions for its development.