Renewable Acceleration Areas in Greece: Issues and recommendations

The Oeko-Institut, CAN Europe, WWF EU, Birdlife Europe and the European Environmental Bureau have published their joint analysis and recommendations regarding the renewable energy spatial planning and designation of Renewable Acceleration Areas for 6  EU Member States. The Green Tank contributed to this report with comments for Greece.

The publication of the report was driven by the revised European RED III Directive, which introduced significant amendments to accelerate the development of renewable energy. In this direction, it required Member States to carry out coordinated mapping to identify suitable sites and RAAs for the installation of RES. Following this, a few days ago the European Commission published guidelines on designating RAAs.

A key conclusion of the new report is the need for early public participation in spatial planning processes, addressing country-specific shortcomings and promoting coordination between national, regional and local spatial planning frameworks. Moreover, high-quality sensitivity mapping tools are crucial.

As far as Greece is concerned, the Green Tank noted that considerable progress in the field of renewables has been made in recent years, while the country has been trying to address the challenges that exist regarding grid unavailability, renewables curtailment, self-production and the update of spatial planning.

However, the country needs a modern spatial framework for RES, incorporating sensitivity maps and ensuring both the protection of biodiversity and the participation of all stakeholders (local authorities, scientists, local communities) in the whole process from the beginning.

After all, ensuring early public participation in spatial planning for renewables is one of the 6 key recommendations of the report to all European Member States. The other five recommendations are:

  1. Ensuring data quality standards.
  2. Enhancing coordination between national, regional, and local spatial planning frameworks.
  3. Addressing administrative shortcomings.
  4. Prioritizing artificial and dual land use areas.
  5. Investing in grid capacity and considering proximity to grids.

You can find the entire report titled “Overview of Renewable Energy Spatial Planning and Designation of Acceleration Areas in Selected EU Member States” here.