Portugal cuts environmental approvals for utility-scale solar projects


From pv magazine Spain

The prime minister of Portugal, António Costa, has launched the Simplex Ambientales program, which is a package of measures to change the environmental rules for the development of hydrogen and renewable energy projects.

Under the new provisions, hydrogen installations and PV projects that occupy surfaces of less than 100 hectares, as well as wind turbines that are separated by more than 2 kilometers, will not need environmental approval. Projects in protected areas will not be entitled to this exemption.

Costa said the measures will support the Portuguese government's goal for 80% of energy production to come from renewable sources by 2026.

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“The simplified environmental package reduces bureaucracy without diminishing protection,” said Costa.

At the end of 2021, renewables accounted for 59% of Portugal's energy mix.

“These actions respond to the main environmental challenges we face and contribute to the fight against climate change,” said Minister of  Energy Duarte Cordeiro. “We simplify, but we do not leave it unprotected.2

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