Abbreviated form of legal source
- SEA and EIA Act
- Planning Act
- RE Act
- Executive Order on Powerplants
- Executive Order on Certification of Wind Turbines
- BL 3-11
- Nature Protection Act
- Executive Order on Noise from Wind Turbines
- Building Act
- Maritime Safety Act
- Executive Order on Maritime Marking
Description of the process
Onshore wind, ground-mounted and rooftop solar PV
Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)
All wind turbine projects (except single turbines less than 25 meter high and placed in the rural zone) must undergo an EIA screening. Solar PV installations must be screened if they are considered to be industrial facilities producing electricity (§16 SEA and EIA Act).
The municipality is responsible for conducting the EIA process and preparing an EIA study. After an at least eight weeks public consultation on the study and the plan proposal(s), the municipal council decides whether and on which conditions an EIA permission can be granted. The granted permission must be used within three years (§§ 17, 35 and 39 SEA and EIA Act).
Rural zone permit
In the rural zone, all new construction such as wind turbines and solar PV plants and installations will as a main rule require a rural zone permit from the municipal council. For projects that require local planning (see above), the rural zone permit may be replaced by the local plan though (§§ 15 and 35 Planning Act).
A rural zone permit may be granted after a two-week consultation of the neighbours of the property and an assessment of the project. The granted permit must be used within five years (§§ 35 and 56 Planning Act).
Dispensation from local plan
If a project does not conform with an existing local plan covering the relevant area, a dispensation from the plan is needed. If the project does not contravene the “main principles” of the local plan, the dispensation can be granted by the municipal council following a two-week consultation of owners and users in the area covered by the plan, the neighbours of the property in question, certain associations and organizations and other stakeholders who the municipal council deems to have an interest in the case (§§ 19-20 Planning Act).
Public meeting on project acceptance measures
When establishing i.a. wind turbines that are higher than 25 m or ground-mounted solar PV plants with a capacity of more than 500 kW, the developer must host a public meeting in which the consequences of the project for the surrounding properties and the different project acceptance measures that are available are described. When and how the meeting takes place and who must be invited is regulated in detail (RE Act § 9).
Licence to establish a powerplant
Establishing a new powerplant as well as making significant changes to existing plants may only be done after obtaining a licence to establish a powerplant, which is granted by DEA. RES powerplants with a capacity of less than 10 MW and wind turbines that meet the requirements of the Executive Order on Certification of Wind Turbines are exempted from the requirement to obtain the licence (§ 11 Electricity Supply Act; § 1 Executive Order on Powerplants; Executive Order on Certification of Wind Turbines).
Attestation or dispensation regarding aviation marking (wind turbines only)
Wind turbines within an aerodrome approach area or with a total height of more than 100 m must be marked in accordance with the provisions of BL 3-11 and may not be established before the Danish Transport, Construction and Housing Authority (DTCHA) has approved the project. If a wind turbine is less than 150 m high and placed outside an aerodrome approach area construction may however be commenced, if DTCHA has not responded to the application within six weeks. DTCHA consults affected aerodromes, Naviair and the Danish Ministry of Defence Estate Agency before issuing an attestation or dispensation (§ 5 BL 3-11).
Permits and dispensations depending on site and surroundings
If a project is planned in dune-protected areas or areas within 300 m from the seashore a dispensation from the Danish Coastal Authority is required. If a project is planned less than 100 m from an ancient monument, 150 m from protected lakes and streams, 300 m from forest or 300 m from a church a dispensation from the local municipal council is required. Finally, if a project is planned in a nature conservation area a dispensation from the local Conservation Board of Appeals is required. The granted dispensations must be used within three years (§§ 15 -19, 50 and 66 Nature Protection Act).
Noise notification (wind turbines only)
A developer who wishes to establish an onshore wind turbine, or to change an onshore turbine in a way that may increase the noise emission, must notify the relevant municipal council and document that the wind turbine can comply with the noise limits stipulated in the Executive Order on Noise from Wind Turbines. This must be done before construction starts, but after the necessary planning is approved and a rural zone permit and an EIA permission has been granted. If the municipal council does not object within four weeks from the notification, the wind turbine may be established or changed. The new or changed wind turbine must be in operation within two years from the deadline. Thereafter a new notification is required (§§ 4, 8 and 9 Executive Order on Noise from Wind Turbines).
All “building work”, including construction of new buildings and additions to, alteration and demolition of existing buildings, must comply with certain construction requirements stipulated in The Executive Order on Building Regulations 2018 (BR18). Further, some types of building work also require a building permit. Wind turbines and ground-mounted solar PV plants (except for very small installations) will always need a building permit. For rooftop solar PV installations, it will depend on a specific assessment e.g., of which type of building it is placed on (§§ 1, 2, 4, 5 and 7 BR18).
To obtain a building permit, a project developer must file an application with the municipal council (§§ 10 and 11 BR18).
Construction must begin within one year from the date the building permit is granted. Otherwise, a new permit is required (§ 16 Building Act).
Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)
Under the tendering procedure, the Danish TSO conducts an EIA of the onshore installations prior to the tender. After the tender, when a license to carry out preliminary investigations has been granted, the concessionaire must conduct an EIA of the offshore installations. This EIA study is evaluated by DEA and submitted to a second round of consultations with the public and affected authorities lasting at least eight weeks. The consultation also includes a draft EIA permission and a draft license to establish offshore wind turbines.
If DEA approves the EIA study, the concessionaire is informed under which conditions an EIA permission and a license to establish offshore wind turbines can be granted. If the concessionaire wishes to proceed and establish the wind farm, DEA must be notified within three months from the approval. After notification, the concessionaire may apply for a license to establish offshore wind turbines. This license substitutes the final EIA permission (Thor Wind Farm tender material; § 24 RE Act; SEA and EIA Act).
The open-door procedure is similar to the procedure after a tender. The EIA study must however be submitted within a year from the license to carry out preliminary investigations has been granted. Also, the public is not consulted until after the application for a license to establish offshore wind turbines has been submitted (see below).
License to establish offshore wind turbines
Under the tendering procedure, the concessionaire can apply for the license after the EIA study has been approved. The licence is granted by DEA, whereafter the construction can begin (§ 25 RE Act; Thor Wind Farm tender material).
Under the open-door procedure, the developer must apply for the license within six months from the approval of the EIA study. When the application has been received, DEA submits the EIA study to consultations with the public and affected authorities lasting eight weeks. This consultation also includes a draft EIA permission and a draft license to establish offshore wind turbines. If DEA decides to grant the license construction can begin (§ 25 RE Act).
Public meeting on project acceptance measures
Such meeting is required and done according to the same rules and procedures as described above. Wind turbines established under the tendering procedure in areas that are reserved for large wind farms are however exempted.
Permission regarding maritime marking
Maritime markings must be established when necessary, e.g., when offshore facilities such as wind farms are established (§ 8 Maritime Safety Act). Establishing, altering, moving or removing maritime markings requires a permission from the Danish Maritime Authority (DMA), which is granted upon application (§ 8 Executive Order on Maritime Marking).
Agreement with Defence Command Denmark concerning radar
If establishing or changing an offshore wind farm will lead to changes in the quality of existing radar monitoring and radiocommunication, the developer must enter into an agreement with Defence Command Denmark about mitigation measures. Defence Command Denmark decides if, and if so, which measures are necessary. The cost is covered by the developer.
Attestation or dispensation regarding aviation marking
An attestation or dispensation regarding aviation marking is granted by DTCHA according to the same rules and procedures as described above.
Offshore wind turbines are also subject to the noise limits stipulated in the Executive Order on Noise from Wind Turbines as described above, but do not need to make a notification (§ 8 Executive Order on Noise from Wind Turbines).
Permits and dispensations for onshore installations
The onshore installations needed for an offshore wind farm may require the same permits and dispensations as described above.
License to exploit wind power
Offshore wind turbines may not be put into operation for energy exploitation until a license to exploit wind power has been granted. Under the tendering procedure, this licence must be applied for between construction start and up until two months before grid connection of the first wind turbine. The license is granted along with the licence to produce electricity when DEA has ensured that all relevant terms in the license to establish offshore wind turbines are adhered to. The developer may then connect the wind farm (§ 29 RE Act).
- Municipal councils
- Conservation Board of Appeals