Council Regulation (EU) 2022/2577 laying down a framework to accelerate the deployment of renewable energy

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Series Details L 335, Pages 36-44
Publication Date 29/12/2022
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Council Regulation (EU) 2022/2577 - adopted by the Council of the European Union on 22 December 2022, introducing a new temporary emergency regulation to accelerate the deployment of renewable energy sources.

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Renewable energy is at the heart of the European Green Deal. International tension following Russia's invasion of Ukraine and the overall geopolitical context, together with high energy prices exacerbated the need to accelerate energy efficiency and the deployment of renewable energy in the European Union (EU) with the objective to phase out dependence on Russian fossil fuels.

As part of the European Commission's REPowerEU plan, a draft Directive was adopted in May 2022 amending the existing legislative framework to introduce more ambitious energy efficiency and renewable energy targets, measures to further simplify and streamline the administrative permit-granting procedures applicable to renewable energy projects in a coordinated and harmonised manner across the EU as well as measures to increase the deployment of solar installations on buildings. However, the energy crisis has worsened since then and it has led to the reduction of purchasing power for citizens and loss of competitiveness for companies.

National measures to counter those trends may lead to internal market fragmentation and may not guarantee solidarity. Faster deployment of renewables is required for a definitive end to the emergency as it reduces demand for fossil fuels in the power, heating and cooling, industry and transport sectors. Administrative procedures have been identified as one of the key obstacles hampering the speed and number of investments in renewables and related infrastructure. The European Council called in October 2022 for a fast-tracking of the simplification of permitting procedures in order to accelerate the rollout of renewables and grids including by means of emergency measures, which would add to the proposed measures in the REPowerEU plan.

This Regulation establishes temporary rules of an emergency nature to accelerate the permit-granting process applicable to the production of energy from renewable energy sources, with a particular focus on specific renewable energy technologies or types of projects which are capable of achieving a short term acceleration of the pace of deployment of renewables in the Union.

The draft law was tabled by the European Commission on 9 November 2022, seeking to cover the time needed for the adoption and transposition of the draft law amending existing legislative framework. It targeted specific technologies and types of projects which have the highest potential for quick deployment and the least impact on the environment. A political agreement on the content of this file was reached within the Council of the European Union on 24 November. Full adoption by the Council took place on 22 December 2022. The Act was published in the Official Journal on 29 December 2022.

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Commentary and Analysis
Reuters: Analysis, 03/11/2022: Energy market turmoil shakes Europe's green power plan
European Environmental Bureau (EEB): News, 09/11/2022: EU is taking a troublesome path to accelerate renewables roll-out
WindEurope: Press Release, 22/11/2022: Emergency measures on permitting are a step backwards
EPRS: At a Glance, November 2022: Accelerating the deployment of renewable energy during the crisis
Linklaters: Sustainable Futures, 30/11/2022: EU: Acceleration of deployment of renewable energy

Bloomberg, 08/11/2022: Europe to Fast-Track Permitting for Building Renewable Projects
EurActiv, 10/11/2022: Brussels tables emergency EU permitting rules for renewables
EUObserver, 14/11/2022: EU aims to speed up renewables permits, removing safeguards
Reuters, 05/12/2022: EU acts to accelerate renewable energy permitting, unleash repowering

EUR-LEX: COM(2022)591: Proposal for a Council Regulation laying down a framework to accelerate the deployment of renewable energy
European Commission: Priorities 2019-2024: EU action to address the energy crisis
European Commission: Press Release, 09/11/2022: REPowerEU: Commission steps up green transition away from Russian gas by accelerating renewables permitting
European Commission: Questions and Answers on emergency measures to accelerate the deployment of renewable energy (9 November 2022)
Council of the European Union: Press Release, 24/11/2022: EU to speed up permitting process for renewable energy projects
Council of the European Union: Press Release, 22/12/2022: Council formally adopts regulation to speed up permits for renewable energy projects

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