The Council of Ministers this Tuesday, at the suggestion of the Ministry of Ecological Transition, led by Teresa Ribera, approved a six-month extension of the deadline set by her department to obtain the basic permit, the construction permit, for the huge exchange. Renewable energy projects.
The goal is to save hundreds of projects with a capacity of about 43,000 megawatts that needed to get that approval on July 25, according to the schedule the government itself originally set.
The measure is part of the Omnibus Royal Decree-Law on expanding economic measures in response to the war in Ukraine. As the economic vice-president, Nadia Calvino, confirmed at the press conference, “the period granted for construction permits for access permits will be extended by six months.”
The event is accompanied by an expected revision of the National Energy and Climate Plan (PNIEC), which must be sent to Brussels by next Friday. The draft of the energy plan, the tasks of which will be reviewed, was discussed by the Council of Ministers this Tuesday and will be presented tomorrow.
The decision to authorize this expansion has been a demand of the renewable energy sector for weeks, given that this huge capacity would remain on the administrations table without a permit due to the huge number of requests. This would force the enforcement of deposited guarantees and open the door to a wave of corporate liability claims.
There are currently 68 gigawatts in the pipeline, and of that amount there are 43 gigawatts (80% solar and 20% wind), which has made it very difficult to meet the target date through a system of milestones that the executive has put in place. to try to curb the huge speculation in the sector.
Ecological Transition explains that “the confidence of investors and the excellent natural resources of Spain have led to the development of large-scale renewable energy projects, in accordance with European guidelines, to reduce energy imports from Russia as soon as possible and to strengthen the strategic autonomy of the 27, but always guaranteed. High level of environmental protection”.
These 43 gigawatts, the ministry adds, “must obtain a construction permit by July 25 or be denied and begin all administrative processing again after obtaining grid access and connection permits again, in accordance with the calendar of milestones established by RDL 23.” 20. Using Spain’s environmental protection regime, one of the most restrictive in the EU, many of these projects have received an Environmental Impact Statement (DIA) due to significant changes such as burying power lines or downsizing or relocating facilities. , which led to the necessity of conducting new public consultations”.
In addition, the high concentration of projects in a short period of time “makes it difficult for national and European factories to meet the demand for equipment, creating the risk of increased imports and therefore reducing strategic autonomy.” The six-month extension also encourages “public participation” and increases “contract options with the Spanish and European industrial value chain. Projects will, in any case, be completed within five years from the start of development, as before, to meet the green agenda.”
The central and regional administrations have organized an action to analyze the requirements of hundreds of facilities that needed to receive DIA by January 25, 2025, in order to connect them. Many in the sector doubt that this date can be met due to the huge delays that launching such a number of projects in just two years would entail.
Source: El Diario