Wind Watch: Reviewed EIA Directive could reduce wind farm delay
New European Commission proposals to streamline legislation on environmental impact assessments should reduce the delays that often hamper wind farm projects.
European wind farm projects are analysed for their potential impacts on the environment as per the EU's "Environmental Impact Assessment Directive" (EIAD). For EWEA the review of the EIAD, published on 26 October, introduces a number of improvements and simplifications to the current process without weakening the environmental protection provided by the Directive.
The wind industry encourages streamlining of EU and national procedures, as administrative barriers are the main cause for significant delays that push up the cost of wind energy at no additional benefits for the environment or wildlife.
"The directive review is making welcome improvements to a number of grey areas impacting development consent: more wind projects should be recognised as not having significant impacts, and so avoid a full EIA process," said Rémi Gruet, EWEA's Senior Regulatory Affairs Advisor for Climate Change and Environment.
"The information required from a developer having to do a full EIA is more clearly defined and boundaries are laid for the relevant authorities in the form of deadlines for decision. This should reduce the delays that plagued this process in the past and were the main source of concern for wind power developers."
The proposed measures will now be considered by the European Parliament and the Council under the co-decision procedure. Once the text is agreed, it will become EU law.