CEO Alliance calls for faster and simplified permitting procedures

The CEO Alliance is comprised of 12 European companies across several industries and includes utilities Iberdrola and Enel. Image: Flickr.

The CEO Alliance, which includes utilities Iberdrola and Enel amongst others, has released a policy paper which recommends the European Union to accelerate and simplify permitting procedures for renewables.

The policy paper, ‘A Green Industrial Policy for Europe’, highlights five key recommendations for a European Green Industrial Policy, in which EU member states have to continue working towards its current decarbonisation policies and improve Europe’s resilience and competitiveness.

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The CEO Alliance – which was founded in 2020 – represents 12 European cross-sector companies such as Spanish utility Iberdrola, Italian utility Enel, French energy management Schneider Electric and automotive companies Scania and Volkswagen.

Even though, last March, European Members reached an agreement to accelerate the deployment of renewables with “renewables acceleration areas”, which was seen by the alliance as a “step in the right direction”, this will have a limited impact if not coupled with other measures and effective control of time limits. The EU needs to work towards a more harmonised and simplified system for permitting procedures due to different and overlapping requirements across national, local and regional levels.

As the European Union continues to build on the momentum for decarbonisation through the Fit for 55 package and the EU electricity market design, the alliance calls on European policymakers to work in partnership with industries to implement a “robust” European Green Deal legislation.

Another key aspect outlined in the policy paper called for EU policymakers to explore more measures that would bridge the investment gap for renewables, similar to what has been done for green hydrogen through the EU Hydrogen Bank.

“In order to safeguard the functioning of the internal market it is essential that measures are harmonized at the EU-level,” said the paper.

Public authorities should strive to use their purchasing power to support European green industries through public procurement processes or binding targets for green public procurement such as the Clean Vehicle Directive.

Furthermore, other key aspects of the CEO Alliance include better support for small and medium-sized entreprises (SMEs) to transition to clean technologies, and mobilising the potential of digitalisation for greening the European economy.

“The ongoing revision of the EU electricity market design, the development of the hydrogen market and the overall approach to the polluter-pays principle must be built on the Single Market and on the market principles that are the basis of the whole EU energy policy to unleash the vast potential of demand-side flexibility and promote private investments. Proper carbon pricing will stimulate investments in the development and deployment of decarbonization technologies,” the paper said.

The policy paper can be read in its entirety here.

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