11 Apr 2024, 13:21
Benjamin Wehrmann

Energy industry calls for quick adoption of EU renewables rules in Germany to keep track

Clean Energy Wire

The Federation of German Energy and Water Industries (BDEW) has warned the German government not to further delay a raft of legislation on renewable power to keep the country on track toward its ambitious expansion goals. Since October last year, the government has planned to implement the EU’s Renewable Energy Directive (RED II) in its so-called Solar Package, which covers solar power and other renewable technologies. However, internal debates within the government coalition have held up the legislation for months and now pose the risk that the country misses crucial deadlines for the directive’s adaptation, lobby group BDEW said. “A cornerstone RED II’s implementation are the rules for transforming existing wind power inventory areas into acceleration areas” in which licensing decisions are made much faster  BDEW head Kerstin Andreae said. A decision on these areas is still needed this week to comply with the EU’s 21 May deadline to register new installations under a limited suspension of environmental checks that ends in 2025.

About 40 percent of the areas needed for wind power expansion are currently designated as regular construction areas. Missing the deadline for turning these into acceleration areas would slow down the construction of new turbines and put the climate targets in risk, Andreae added. “The clock is ticking.” Andreae urged German states to advocate for a fast implementation of the EU directive to ensure they can comply with their own wind power expansion plans. “Climate targets are useless if the measures for reaching them are not taken,” she added. The EU scheme had been devised as a response measure during the energy crisis.

While the construction of new wind turbines and solar arrays picked up markedly in the past year in Germany, the country still must stay on course for its ambitious roadmap ahead for meeting its target of sourcing 80 percent of its electricity from renewables by 2030, up from about 52 percent in 2023. A draft on the government’s planned implementation of the EU’s RED II scheme said that construction of new installations could be sped up by allowing operators to pay a fee for potential environmental impacts of new projects.

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