25 Oct 2023, 12:51
Julian Wettengel

German industrial associations welcome EU wind power action plan, NGO cautions nature protection must not fall behind

Clean Energy Wire

German energy industry players have welcomed a European Union package of proposals to strengthen the bloc’s wind power industry. The main goal of the measures in the package should be to strengthen value creation within the EU, said Bärbel Heidebroek, president of wind power association BWE. The association is also looking forward to an announced plan to expand the power grid, she said: “As with the other measures of the Wind Power Action Plan, we are also curious to see how the concrete measures for the grid action plan will be designed, especially with regard to the topics of grid expansion and the removal of barriers to expansion.”

Energy industry association BDEW welcomed the idea to extend temporary rules which allow faster permitting procedures for renewables, introduced during the energy crisis. “In some points the regulation considerably simplifies the permitting procedures for renewable energy plants,” BDEW head Kerstin Andreae said. “The Commission should now quickly create clarity here in order to avoid planning uncertainties,” she added.

Environmental NGO Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU), however, criticised plans to extend emergency rules for renewables permitting. “Europe must be careful not to turn nature and climate protection into adversaries,” NABU president Jörg-Andreas Krüger said. “Pushing the expansion of wind energy at the expense of species and habitats leads to nothing other than mutually reinforcing the climate and species extinction crises,” he said.

The EU presented a European Wind Power Action Plan “to ensure that the clean energy transition goes hand-in-hand with industrial competitiveness and that wind power continues to be a European success story,” the European Commission said in a press release. The Commission is considering to extend a temporary emergency regime for faster permitting for renewables installations. Other elements of the plan include an initiative to ensure that recently agreed updated renewables rules get implemented faster in member states; that there is support for countries in setting up improved wind power auctions; and ensuring easier access to finance. A “Grids Action Plan” to support the necessary build-out of electricity grids should be presented soon too.

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