The Executive Council today adopted a decree-law on urgent measures to tackle the climate emergency and promote renewable energies. The decree-law eliminates administrative barriers to the implementation of renewable energies in Catalonia and remedies various aspects of the Climate Change Law that had been declared unconstitutional with the aim of continuing to make progress on climate change mitigation and the energy transition, and tackling the climate emergency declared by the Catalan government last May. The new regulation must be approved by the Catalan parliament in the next 30 days.
The decree-law includes the repeal of Decree 147/2009, which limited the deployment of wind farms and photovoltaic parks in Catalonia, and introduces a streamlined approval procedure. The changes pave the way for these technologies to be deployed throughout Catalonia in a way that respects rules on protection of the environment, urban spaces and landscapes.
A new model for administrative procedures is also introduced, cutting the time needed to obtain authorisation for an installation to 13 months. The new procedure includes the establishment of a renewable energy board, to which it will be possible to submit queries before seeking authorisation for an installation in order to find out if a proposed site is viable and ensure that there are no circumstances that advise against it.
The decree-law also amends the Urban Planning Law to facilitate and simplify installation of renewable energy systems in urban areas. Changes to the law are aimed at encouraging installation of self-production systems on buildings and in public spaces in cities.
Finally, the Climate Change Law is amended to re-establish certain articles struck down by the Constitutional Court, which have been redrafted based on the ruling. The amended law restricts fracking and sets the goals of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050, electrifying the ports of the Government of Catalonia, and extending the use of electric mobility in the transport sector.
The adoption of the decree-law is intended to facilitate achievement of the goals set in the Climate Change Law and the National Agreement for the Energy Transition of Catalonia. According to initial estimates provided by the Catalan Energy Institute (ICAEN), to meet these goals Catalunya needs to have 4,000 MW of wind power and 6,000 MW of solar photovoltaic capacity installed by 2030, starting from 1,270 MW and 276 MW, respectively, currently in service.