CT1 - 7th Plenary Meeting
Highlights Core Theme 1: RES Electricity
Guidance through Administrative Processes - Challenges and Solutions for Setting-Up Contact Points
According to Article 16 para. 1 of Directive (EU) 2018/2001 (RED II) Member States shall set up or designate one or more contact points, which shall, upon request by the applicant, guide through and facilitate the entire administrative process. In order to reduce complexity for project developers and increase efficiency and transparency applicants shall not be obliged to contact other administrative bodies in order to complete the permit-granting process, unless they prefer to do so.
The relevance of administrative and grid barriers for RES plants is increasing. Main obstacles are related to the complexity and duration of the administrative procedures as well as integration of RES in spatial and environmental planning. This session facilitated a best practice exchange and demonstrated how Member States put Article 16 paragraph 1 RED II into practice. Furthermore, it provided an overview of challenges Member States need to tackle in order to implement the provision. Some Member States have introduced simplified procedures for interventions on existing and new RES plants and also for the connected storage systems, based on the proportionality principle, and are striving for a greater uniformity in order to speed up and facilitate the authorisation procedures.
Local Acceptance for Renewable Energy Projects - Exchange on Best Practices
Member States face the issue of achieving public acceptance for renewable energy projects. Most commonly, they experience a broad “general” support for their RES policy, but encounter problems on the local level. In many cases, information is considered a key element for achieving public acceptance. RED II takes this into account and requires Member States to develop suitable information, awareness-raising, guidance or training programmes in order to effectively inform citizens, cf. Article 18 paragraph 6 RED II.
During this session, a RES project developer and representatives of Member States shared their experiences on issues faced when trying to achieve local acceptance and on possible solutions how to overcome them. In addition, a presentation on the empirical evidence on the issue of local acceptance was given. The session also gave Member States and representatives from the European Commission the opportunity to have an open discussion on possible solutions. Raising public acceptance may also be achieved by granting financial benefits for the local level. In this regard, a broad range of potential actions is possible. Project developers may e.g. support local projects or provide financial incentive to municipalities in whose territory the plant is located. Additional efforts are required to engage with local communities and communicate project details and benefits to communities in an open and transparent manner. Concerns of local residents must be pro-actively addressed, particularly those related to environmental impacts or to factors that can disturb them (e.g. noise). Local residents should also be invited to actively take part in the process.