Accelerated construction of large solar parks and wind farms proposed in new bill

by   CIJ News iDesk III
2024-07-03   11:48
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The construction of large solar parks and wind farms in the Czech Republic is set to speed up, according to a new draft law aimed at accelerating the use of renewable energy sources. This bill, now entering the inter-ministerial comment procedure, introduces the concept of “acceleration zones” to streamline the permitting process, as announced by the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MIT).

Drafted by the MIT in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Regional Development, the bill follows a government resolution from April, which approved the creation of acceleration zones for renewable energy projects. These designated areas will allow for quicker permitting of solar and wind power plants, with preparation and authorization expected to take no more than 12 months.

“Renewable energy sources, alongside nuclear energy, will be the cornerstone of the Czech energy sector,” stated Industry and Trade Minister Jozef Sikela (STAN). “Acceleration zones are a significant step forward, simplifying and expediting the permitting process for solar and wind power plants. These zones will primarily be in areas with high potential for electricity generation and minimal environmental impact, such as former industrial zones, brownfields, or mines.”

In these acceleration zones, renewable energy projects will benefit from a special simplified regime, initially focusing on solar and wind power generation due to their expected growth in installed capacity by 2030.

“Acceleration zones will address major permitting issues before companies and municipalities agree on specific locations for wind or photovoltaic power plants, reducing the project approval time to under a year,” said Environment Minister Petr Hladík (KDU-ČSL). Minister for Regional Development Ivan Bartoš (Pirates) added, “The definition of acceleration zones, along with the new Construction Act, will facilitate fast, transparent, and convenient assessments for investors and citizens.”

The location of these power plants will be determined with respect to spatial planning, with acceleration zones defined at municipal, regional, and national levels. Criteria to protect natural resources and the environment will also play a crucial role in site selection. Detailed and specific conditions for each acceleration zone will be set out in zoning measures alongside the spatial planning documentation.

Advocates for renewable energy have long called for such measures, arguing that the Czech Republic has lagged behind in constructing large solar parks, which are poised to become a significant part of the country’s energy sector in the future.

Source: CTK

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