Brussels, 13 February 2022

Renewable energy is at the heart of the European Green Deal. International tensions following
Russia´s invasion of Ukraine and the overall geopolitical context, together with high energy
prices exacerbated the need to accelerate energy efficiency and the deployment of renewable
energies in the EU, required for a definitive end of fossil fuels in the energy sector.

EREF urges decision-makers to strictly observe the principle of overriding public interest for
the deployment of renewable energies and related infrastructures, assisting Member States to
contribute to EU targets. In the principle of overriding public interest, priority needs to be
ensured for the construction, repowering, and operation of plants for generations of energy
from renewable sources and all ancillary solutions.

Acknowledging the principle of overriding public interest in the fast deployment of renewable
energies and related infrastructures under the REPowerEU principles, the European
Commission should publish a guidance document for the Member States and the
administrative level to ensure that a clear priority for the realisation of renewable energy
projects under the overriding principle is guaranteed.

For this reason, EREF calls for a coherent European policy and focus for renewable energy and
flexibility. EREF suggests for the upcoming Trilogue negotiations to ensure with clear wording
in the introductory remarks of the upcoming RED Directive between the overriding public
interest for renewables in the RED Directive, to be respected and ensured under the EU nature
protection legislation. The upcoming RED Directive should thus mandate the Commission to
review the respective legislative acts, e.g., Birds’ Directive, Habitats´ Directive, Natura 2000 and
the Water Framework Directive in order to ensure consistency with this overriding public
interest principle for renewables.

EREF reckons it necessary to adjust inconsistent wording under the nature protection
legislation, for the sake of coherence of European Union Law and in observing the effet-utile –
principle. The principle, highlighting the protection of a species’ population instead of the
protection of an individual animal, needs to be clearly established.

For more information, please contact

Prof. Dr. Dörte Fouquet

Dirk Hendricks
Secretary General

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