DL 30-A/2022: Renewable Energy Production: simplified procedures exceptional regime
Exceptional measures to simplify procedures of energy production from renewable sources
It was published on 18 April the Decree-Law no. 30-A/2022 in the Official Journal – meanwhile object of the Rectification no. 14-A/2022, of 26 April – which approves a set of exceptional measures aimed at accelerating the ecological transition in the European Union, in order to face the increase in the prices of fossil fuels, by simplifying the procedures for the installation and start-up of power generation plants from renewable sources, storage facilities, production units for self-consumption (Unidade de Produção para Auto-Consumo – “UPAC”) and respective connection lines to the Public Service Network (Rede Elétrica de Serviço Público – “RESP”); installations for the production of hydrogen by electrolysis from water; and electricity transmission and distribution infrastructure.
Among the measures approved, the following shall be highlighted:
- Pronouncement of the environmental impact assessment authority outside sensitive areas and when the projects are below the thresholds established in Annex II to the Decree-Law no. 151-B/2013, of 31 October, will only occur at the request of the licensing entity when there are indications that the project is likely to cause significant impacts on the environment (in the case of projects to install power generation plants from renewable sources, storage facilities, UPAC, the respective lines connecting to the RESP, as well as projects for the production of hydrogen by electrolysis from water);
- The mandatory opinions foreseen in the sectorial legal regimes applicable to the activities and infrastructures indicated above will now have to be issued by the competent authorities within 10 days after receiving the request for that purpose, the absence of an opinion being issued within that period being equivalent to the non-opposition to the request, which will follow the respective subsequent procedures;
- It is waived, for the purposes of the beginning of operation of power generation plants producing energy from renewable sources, storage facilities and UPACs, the prior issuance of an operating license or an operating certificate to be issued by the General-Directorate for Energy and Geology (Direção-Geral de Energia e Geologia – “DGEG”), provided that the network operator confirms the existence of technical conditions for the connection to the RESP and a prior notification is submitted to DGEG, which communicates it immediately to the global manager of the National Electric System and to the competent network operator; Please note that the operating license or the operating certificate shall be requested within 3 years after the above-mentioned communication and the prior inspection may be waived by DGEG and also that the entry into operation shall take place within the deadline established for the issuance of the operating license or operating certificate pursuant to the Decree-Law no. 15/2022, of 14 January, under penalty of forfeiture of the injection capacity reservation title or prior registration. Also please note that the exceptional regime above described does not affect the application of the regime established for tests and prior trials and for the experimental operating regime, being the DGEG’s decision issued within 10 days, counting from the date of receipt of the prior notification, and in the absence of such pronunciation within the referred deadline, the request being tacitly granted.
- The installation of power generation plants from renewable sources and UPAC shall comply with the determinations provided for in this Decree-Law, regardless of whether an Environmental Impact Assessment procedure or environmental incidences analysis has taken place, among which we highlight: (i) preferably maintain a minimum distance of 0.1 km around rural areas and urban land, except in cases where urban land is intended for the installation of an economic activity; as well as (ii) preserve the living soil resource, with the appropriate natural covering (namely through the planting or promotion of spontaneous natural vegetation, throughout the intervention area;); and (iii) the territorial concentration of the generation power plant from renewable sources, storage facilities and UPAC, ensuring the reduction of the occupied area, as well as the reduction in the number and size of the lines connecting the power generation plant to the grid in order to ensure greater protection of the territory resource and the environment.
- The prior control procedure for the installation of power generation plants from renewable sources and UPACs with an installed capacity equal to or greater than 20 MW or, in the case of a primary wind power plant with at least 10 towers, shall be instructed with a proposal of projects involving local communities; The above-mentioned project may include, among others, (i) measures that promote the generation of local employment, especially during the operation and maintenance of the power generation plant using the local population; (ii) the availability of electricity produced by the plant or UPAC surpluses to energy communities or local industries, creating factors of local competitiveness; and (iii) the granting of the option of co-investing in the power generation plant to the local population. These measures do not prejudice the application of the compensation mechanism to the municipalities established in the Decree-Law no. 15/2022.
- The wind power plants will now be able to inject energy into the Public Service Network above the assigned connection power, in order to guarantee the maximum possible production depending on the installed power of each power plant, applying the provisions of Decree-Law no. 15/2022 regarding the interruption of the repowering energy injection and the repowering energy remuneration.
This Decree-Law entered into force 19 April 2022, and it will be in force for a period of 2 years.
To access the full version of the Decree-Law, see: https://dre.pt/dre/detalhe/decreto-lei/30-a-2022-182213906
For more information on this subject, please contact:
Rita Ferreira dos Santos
+351 219 245 010