The head official of a special committee assembled by the government to simplify RES licensing procedures is seeking bold steps leading to major progress but the body’s task could be troubled by firm resistance from environmental groups.
The energy and environment ministry’s secretary-general Alexandra Sdoukou, who heads the special committee, is expected to push for decisive action and real results at the group’s second meeting, planned for next Monday.
Sdoukou wants more than just a reduction of supporting documents and digitization of existing procedures, her objective being to truly revolutionize licensing procedures for swift results and an increase in green energy investments.
Simpler RES licensing procedures are crucially important if ambitious targets included in the new National Energy and Climate Plan are to be achieved. A large number of RES projects will need to be developed over the next decade if NECP targets are to be met.
However, the path is not expected to be obstacle-free. Energy ministry officials are very much aware of the constant threat of amendments being legally challenged at the Council of State, Greece’s supreme administrative court, over environmental concerns.
Signs of resistance have already begun emerging within the ministry’s environmental division as a result of conflicting views on matters such as avifauna, biodiversity and NATURA-area protection.
The country’s new spatial plan for the renewable energy sector, currently being prepared, will play an instrumental role in generating sufficient RES growth for the achievement of NECP targets. Two leading figures at the ministry’s environmental section hold key positions for the spatial plan’s shaping.