The European Commission announced today proposed emergency measures to accelerate the deployment of renewable energy, as part of a series of moves to cut the EU’s dependence on Russian fossil fuels.

Applying for one year, the proposed measures would classify renewable power plants under the status of “overriding public interest in order to eliminate bottlenecks in new permitting procedures, and include immediately simplified and accelerated permitting for the installation of solar equipment on artificial structures, repowering of renewable energy power plants that are near the end of their economic life and facilitate faster deployment of heat pumps.

According to the EU Commission, energy types and projects targeted by the new measures include those with the highest potential for quick deployment and the least impact on the environment.

Measures to address lengthy and complex permitting procedures form part of REPowerEU, the EU’s €300 billion strategy to reduce European reliance on Russian fossil fuels through measures including the deployment of renewable and clean energy capacity, proposed in May 2022. The new proposals, however, follow calls from the European Council for immediate action to fast-track permitting procedures to accelerate the rollout of renewables, given the worsening situation in energy markets.

As outlined in the RePowerEU plan, the EU is already moving to scale up its deployment of renewable energy capacity. At the COP27 conference on Tuesday, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said that the EU is on track to double renewables deployment this year to 50 GW, and aims to double again next year to a record 100 GW.

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