07 Jun 2024, 13:47
Sören Amelang

German parliament approves removal of red tape to fast-track renewables and hydrogen rollout

Clean Energy Wire

Germany’s parliament has passed a government reform package designed to speed up the rollout of wind power, as well as industry decarbonisation, by removing red tape. The amendment to Germany’s Pollution (Immission) Control Act, which streamlines approvals for new infrastructure projects, will benefit climate and companies, said economy and climate minister Robert Habeck. “The acceleration is aimed in particular at the faster expansion of renewable energies – and in particular onshore wind turbines – as well as the simplification of the construction of industrial plants and electrolysers,” explained Habeck, who had hailed the reform as “a milestone on the way to faster and less bureaucratic procedures.”

Renewable energy association BEE said the digitalisation of approval procedures will reduce paperwork, especially during the replacement of old wind turbines with new ones, a process called repowering. The lobby group also welcomed the streamlining of approvals for industry investments because it would pave the way for the industrial use of renewable power – for example, in electrolysers used to make renewable hydrogen. The association of local utilities (VKU) said the reform could “turbocharge” the wind power rollout and significantly accelerate the country’s landmark energy transition.

Last year, Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced a “Pact for Germany” which would attempt to reduce bureaucracy for renewable energy projects. Bureaucracy has often been blamed for slowing down the energy transition, particularly the expansion of onshore wind farms.

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