Legal Perspectives on Bottom-up Approaches
New Horizons in Environmental and Energy Law series
Edited by Marjan Peeters and Thomas Schomerus
Chapter 7: Towards efficient administrative procedures for renewable energy projects? The Dutch experience with the Crisis and Recovery Act
Research has shown that there is an inherent tension between the desire to achieve the goals set by states on the proportion of energy produced from renewable energy sources and the time-consuming administrative procedures for renewable energy projects deemed necessary to allow for legally sound decision-making by public authorities, and the judicial review of those decisions. It appears that in this respect, renewable energy projects suffer from the same problems faced by large infrastructure projects. First, they have been shown to have been insufficiently taken into account in spatial planning, and secondly, the large number of public authorities involved and the lack of coordination between them result in lead times for the acquisition of permits and approvals that are considered too long. The realization of renewable energy projects is an important factor in the necessary transition towards a sustainable society. A relevant distinction between other infrastructure projects and renewable energy projects is that in 2009 the European Union (EU) introduced mandatory targets for the share of renewable energy use in the EU Member States. These targets imply that there is an additional need to review the efficiency of existing administrative procedures and to introduce legislation that could streamline and expedite those procedures and speed up the realization of renewable energy projects, if necessary. This chapter aims to analyse the way the Dutch Crisis and Recovery Act of 2010 has influenced administrative decision-making and court proceedings concerned with renewable energy projects; more specifically, onshore wind farms.
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