APA is already identifying areas in the country for rapid renewable energy licensing

  • ECO News
  • 8 June 2022

Nuno Lacasta says he can't give any deadlines, since the work is still in its early stages.

The president of the Portuguese Environment Agency (APA), Nuno Lacasta, said on Tuesday that this entity is already working to identify an area in the country where the constraints to install renewable energy are very low (ideally non-existent), so that licensing is simplified to the maximum within these geographical limits.

The European Commission gave the motto through the Repower EU programme, in which it recommends that member states create so-called “go-to areas” that, characterised by low environmental risk, enjoy “shortened and simplified” licensing processes.

APA president’s statements came during a conference on “Renewables – Staying Competitive in the Portuguese Market”, where he said he was a defender of “go-to areas”. On deadlines, Nuno Lacasta said he could not commit himself, given that the work is still at an early stage. During the conference, he said that no such areas have ever been created in the European panorama and he hopes that in Portugal they will be defined earlier than in other countries. But, he points out that these areas “won’t solve everything”.

At the same conference, Nuno Lacasta said that APA is also working on a legal fine-tuning regarding land use classification. On the sidelines, he clarified to ECO that the issue is related to soils classified as rustic, which for now inhibit the installation of solar projects, which does not fit the current reality.