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Regulatory changes in Central Europe ‘promising,’ wind power industry reps say

Recent regulatory changes for wind energy development in Central Europe are “promising”, said the Czech Renewable Energy Chamber, E3G, Energiaklub Hungary, Slovak Association of the Photovoltaic Industry and RES (SAPI), Windex Energy and WindEurope in a joint press statement (6 June).

Hungary is simplifying repowering conditions; in Slovenia, the first steps to boost permitting will come into force in July; and recently amended legislation in Czechia aligns the position of wind energy development with other public interests and simplifies permitting processes, the associations and think tanks noted in the press release. Governments in Central Europe must use the National Energy Climate Plans (NECPs) submission to translate these recent improvements into higher targets for wind energy, the group added.

The revision of the NECPs is a crucial opportunity for Central Europe to catch up with the energy transition. The EU is turning the energy crisis into an opportunity to turbocharge its energy transition and made renewables a central part of its energy security. The Central European contribution will be crucial to achieve the EU’s new renewables target for 2030 but also to secure competitiveness and strategic energy autonomy for the region. Onshore wind energy is a central ingredient for a sustainable power mix and a balanced energy system,” said Genady Kondarev, E3G Senior Associate for Central and Eastern Europe.

By increasing the deployment of renewables, the region’s consumers may see a significant 29 per cent reduction in electricity prices by 2030, according to a recent analysis by Ember, a climate think-tank.

“Wind is 17 per cent of all the electricity consumed in Europe today. The EU want it to be 43 per cent by 2030. This requires a huge expansion in capacity. The whole of Europe is going to have to contribute. So it is encouraging to see the growing number of new wind farm projects now under development in Central Europe. And the number of Governments in the region that are now planning or legislating for CfD auctions for new wind farms. Every EU Government now has to update its National Energy & Climate Plan (NECP). This is a great opportunity for Governments to nail new targets and spell out the policies e.g. on permitting and grid expansion that will help deliver them. Ambitious NECPs will attract investments,” said Giles Dickson, CEO of WindEurope.

The press release has asked the governments to use the revision of NECPs to raise their 2030 wind energy targets: Czechia should increase its wind target to between 1,000 megawatts (MW) and 1,600 MW; Hungary from 329 MW to 4,000 MW; Slovakia from 500 MW to 667 MW; Slovenia from 500 MW to between 600 and 700 MW by 2030.

By December 2022 Czechia, Hungary, Slovakia and Slovenia had 0.675 gigawatts (GW) total installed wind energy capacity. They could reach between 2 and 5.4 GW by 2030, the press release said.

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