Eurelectric welcomes the European Commission’s proposal for a Nature Restoration Regulation (NRR). The European electricity sector has made intensive efforts to develop synergies between nature restoration and renewable energy deployment while still strengthening energy independence. Best practice examples of this are illustrated in Eurelectric’s Power Plant project. Based on our experience, we are convinced that the proposal needs to be improved in order to fully exploit the available potential and achieve the EU's decarbonisation and biodiversity goals.
In particular, we recommend the following changes:
- The need to find “win-win” solutions. Investing in renewable energy to reduce the EU's energy dependency and increase security of supply contributes significantly to tackling climate change while enabling benefits for biodiversity conservation and society. Therefore, we call for an exemption of renewable energy generation facilities, their connection to the grid, the grid itself, and storage assets. (Amt 3, Amt 4, Amt 5, Amt 6, Amt 7)
- A ‘zero-deterioration’ approach hinders the deployment of renewables and slows the energy transition. (Amt 1, Amt 2)
- Clear definitions in line with existing legislation. This is essential and will streamline the implementation of the regulation. (Amt 2, Amt 5, Amt 8, Amt 12)
- Less than 3% of the barriers in European rivers are used for hydropower generation. Hydropower plant operators have made great efforts to comply with existing European environmental regulation, including the WFD and Nature Directives. Eurelectric insists that EU hydropower, which provides renewable energy as well as firm and flexible capacity and thus makes an important contribution to mitigating climate and energy crisis, must not be curtailed. (Amt 9, Amt 16)
- Synergies between nature restoration and renewable electricity generation must be activated. For this purpose, Eurelectric urges that the development of National Restoration Plans (NRPs) shall be consistent with plants and designated areas necessary to fulfil the national energy and climate plans (NECPs). (Amt 11, Amt 15)
- Early and effective opportunity for participation in the development of NRPs and accompanying transparency is key. Eurelectric strongly encourages the participation of stakeholders in the drafting process of NRPs to ensure a successful implementation while providing guidance for investment decisions in renewable energy sources. In addition, transparency is essential to ensure the predictability of investments in renewable projects in full compliance with the protection and restoration of biodiversity. (Amt 13, Amt 14, Amt 17)