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Clean energy for EU islands forum 2022 - SHAPE: Regulatory - Conclusions from the regulatory deep dives

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Solving the regulatory obstacles for clean energy transition projects on European islands

 

Moderation: Lucija Rakocevic – Legal and regulatory lead, Clean energy for EU islands secretariat (Th!nk E)

  • Gustav Blomberg - Alan islands (Finland)
  • George Aliagas - Member of the Cabinet of the Secretary General for Energy and Mineral Resources
  • Edita Dranseikaite - Policy officer CE4EUI, European Commission

 

What is needed on the national, regional & local levels to foster the energy transition? What are the gaps, and what is hindering or slowing down the clean energy transition? The regulatory inventory covers all 15 EU member states with inhabited islands and reviews seven countries in more detail, working with national stakeholders’ analysis of regulations and barriers. Studies on the national level identify regulatory and legislative barriers, best practices, and how to overcome these barriers.

Several legal and policy barriers have been identified, like the lack of coordination of the energy transition, lengthy permitting procedures, lack of attention to the local level, and missing local energy planning.

The lengthy permitting procedures apply to renewable projects but also to energy communities. Spacial restrictions and the security of supply, grid congestion, and the lack of legislation and regulation are additional issues. 

Some recommendations:

  • Must plan for RES,
  • simplify procedures,
  • permitting guidance, involve local stakeholders,
  • co-creation of planning documents,
  • guidance from the national level,
  • capacity building on a local level,
  • one-stop shops,
  • master plans for renewable projects,

 

Gustav Blomberg from the Åland Islands (Finland), working for the Infrastructure Department, regards autonomy as a tool for the energy transition. Today, wind turbines produce 65% of the islands' energy demand. Gustav Blomberg recommends islands to gain political support from the national and regional governments for energy projects and spatial planning.

 

Georgios Aliagas, Member of the Cabinet of the Secretary and General for Energy and Mineral Resources, stated that investments are key for the clean energy transition in Greece. There's a need to simplify and accelerate RES Licencing procedures. The three central factors that would help to further the clean energy transition on Greek islands are simplification, digitisation, and acceleration.

 

Edita Dranseikaite, Policy officer of the CE4EUIslands secretariat at the European Commission, asks what is coming up in the EU legislation?

On this second day of the forum, the RePowerEU toolbox came out. It serves as a practical guidance, contains lots of practical examples, and lists practical short and long-term recommendations:

  1. faster and shorter recommendations for procedures,
  2. the flexibility of technology specification,
  3. limiting litigation procedures,
  4. reducing procedures for energy communities,
  5. sufficient capacity (people & skills),
  6. community – how do communities benefit from renewable energy installations,
  7. environment – overriding public interest, fastest and easiest permitting processes,
  8. better interconnection to the grid – needs to ensure grid capacity,
  9. data.