EU Nature Action Plan: Commission issues guidance for renewable energy projects
As part of the “EU Action plan for nature, people and the economy” the European Commission has today issued two guidance documents on energy transmission infrastructure and hydropower, explaining the steps that need to be taken under EU nature legislation when such energy projects are prepared.
They aim to improve the implementation of the EU biodiversity legislation (Birds and Habitats Directives) on the ground while ensuring a safe, sustainable and affordable energy supply across Europe. Karmenu Vella, Commissioner for Environment, Fisheries and Maritime Affairs, said, “Our objective is to ensure that EU nature laws deliver for nature, people and the economy. Today’s guidance documents offer practical recommendations to guarantee that renewable energy developments do not pose further threat to our species, habitats and Natura 2000 sites. By allowing everybody involved in the preparation of renewable energy projects to consider environment early in the process, they will facilitate projects that work with nature, and not against it.” The guidance documents are primarily designed for national authorities and stakeholders involved in the planning and approval of energy projects. They underline the need to take into consideration, early on, the ecological requirements of protected species and habitats and to include, wherever possible, measures to improve their conservation. More information is available here.