ETC Units Out Actions Wanted to Cut back Renewable Energy Deployment Delays

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In its newest world Insights Briefing, “Streamlining planning and permitting to accelerate wind and solar deployment”, the Energy Transitions Commission (ETC) highlights how governments, civil society, and wind and solar builders can take motion to scale back pointless delays brought on by widespread planning and allowing obstacles in renewables deployment while sustaining robust environmental, bio-diversity and social safeguards.

Clean electrification is the spine of the transition to net-zero and can present over 60% of all energy consumed in 2050, up from 20% immediately. A world energy system based mostly on clear electrification would require dramatic development of wind and solar capability – a rise of 5-7 occasions by 2030. Addressing planning and allowing obstacles is essential to making sure the deployment of renewables on the pace and scale required to make sure speedy cuts to emissions. ETC estimates that the world might miss out on as much as 3,500 TWh of unpolluted electrical energy era from wind and solar in 2030 (a shortfall of over 20%) attributable to key obstacles to wind and solar deployment together with cumbersome and time-costly planning and allowing insurance policies.

ETC evaluation, grounded in real-world case research and discussions with renewable builders, exhibits that placing into place easy measures to streamline planning and allowing can cut back challenge occasions by greater than half for wind and solar tasks. Offshore wind challenge timelines may very well be lowered from 12 years to five.5 years, onshore wind timelines may very well be lowered from 10 years to 4.5 years and utility-scale solar timelines may very well be lowered from 4 years to only over 1 12 months. Implementing these actions would take away a key barrier to scrub electrification and speed up the transition to net-zero.

“Urgent action is needed to deliver planning and permitting systems that will drive the transition to a net-zero economy,” says Adair Turner, ETC’s chair. “Governments, developers and civil society need to work together to remove barriers and focus on reducing development times for vital wind and solar projects.”

The Insights Briefing, which is a part of the ETC’s Barriers to Clean Electrification collection, identifies three main classes of planning and allowing obstacles: regulatory, administrative and societal. Analyzing the potential to shorten wind and solar improvement timelines at completely different levels of challenge improvement, while sustaining robust environmental and social safeguards.

Key actions in these areas embrace regulatory, setting clear targets for power sector decarbonization (e.g., by 2035) and the renewables and grids that will likely be required to satisfy this, assigning precedence standing to renewable energy tasks, dedicating enough land, setting and implementing streamlined allowing targets, permitting some allow flexibility (together with minor adjustments to assigned permits), limiting authorized challenges, and assigning clear property rights (the place these are restricted).

From an administrative perspective, it’s creating “one-stop-shops” for allowing, sufficiently staffing allow roles, digitalizing the allowing course of, and creating digital spatial mapping instruments and environmental information banks to assist deployment planning.

With societal, it’s making certain efficient stakeholder engagement, benefits-sharing with native communities, for instance, within the type of shared neighborhood possession schemes, making certain entry to scrub electrical energy or decreasing energy prices, enhancing aesthetics of renewable know-how, managing socioeconomic and environmental impacts (notably on biodiversity) for native communities.

National and regional governments and policymakers bear the most important accountability for driving progress and taking daring motion to drive renewables deployment, by streamlining approvals processes, offering a imaginative and prescient for bold renewable deployment and deciding the place renewable tasks should take precedence. In the short-term, they need to priorities options resembling rising the land obtainable for wind and solar tasks, making use of the rule of optimistic silence to robotically grant allow functions after a time frame has elapsed, encouraging solar panel installations on all appropriate public buildings, and making certain enough staffing inside allowing departments which might dramatically cut back delays.

“Reforming the planning and permitting processes is critical to the acceleration of renewables deployment globally,” says Alistair Phillips-Davies, CEO of SSE. “This report helpfully highlights good practice from around the globe and sets out clear recommendations for policymakers on what can be improved to reduce the time it takes on average for an offshore wind project to be developed from 12 years currently to potentially 5 and a half years.”

“While it is good to see the U.K. recognized as a world leader, to maintain this status we need to accelerate rapidly the pace at which we are now building low-carbon infrastructure – not only in terms of renewables but strategic investment in electricity networks and flexible technologies that will help balance and lower the cost of a net zero power system,” states Phillips-Davies.

Developers, native authorities and civil society even have a key position to play in delivering progress. Wind and solar builders ought to successfully interact with stakeholders throughout challenge planning and building to reduce environmental and social impacts and guarantee benefits-sharing with native communities. Local authorities and civil society should additionally play a job in making certain communities are appropriately knowledgeable, ready and resourced to interact with renewable developments.

This Insights Briefing is accompanied by a set of three Solution Toolkits, which give a collection of particular suggestions and actions for nationwide/regional governments and policymakers; wind and solar builders; and native authorities and civil society. 

The briefing has been developed in collaboration with ETC members from throughout business, monetary establishments and environmental advocates together with Arcelor Mittal, Bank of America, BP, EBRD, HSBC, Iberdrola, Impax, Legal and General, National Grid, Ørsted, Rio Tinto, Schneider Electric, Shell, Tata Group, Volvo Group, the World Resources Institute and Worley.

Read the total Insights Briefing and Solution Toolkits right here.

Image: “Installing solar panels” by OregonDOT is licensed below CC BY 2.0.

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