16 Nov 2022, 13:21
Carolina Kyllmann

Chancellery aims to speed up approval times for renewable projects


German chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) plans to streamline planning and approval procedures for faster construction of wind turbines, rail projects and even houses, newspaper Handelsblatt reports. The “pact for accelerated planning, approval and implementation” between the national government and federal states aims to “speed up – at least halve – the times for administrative, planning and approval processes,” said Scholz. This was one of the key agreements from the coalition government – formed by the Social Democrats (SPD), the Green Party and the Free Democrats (FDP) – as they took office. So far, emergency approvals for floating liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals on the North and Baltic Seas have been facilitated, reports Handelsblatt. However, the government cabinet has also introduced several legislative proposals to speed up permit and planning procedures.

Slow planning and approval procedures and bureaucratic hurdles hamper the transition to a low-emission economy. Planning and approval procedures are not only becoming increasingly complicated and burdensome, but also take an average of six months longer than required by law, industry association BDI found. Equally, long approval procedures and insufficient land designation mean the expansion of wind power capacity across Germany is too slow to meet climate targets, a report by the federal and state cooperation committee found. Additionally, bureaucratic hurdles have slowed down electricity grid expansion. The new agreement aims to optimise and digitalise the processes end-to-end.

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