Latvia plans to reduce red tape on wind park projects

Latvia plans to draft a new law that will allow the development of wind park projects to move along quicker, said Artūrs Toms Plešs, Minister for Environmental Protection and Regional Development, said at a briefing after the coalition meeting on March 21.

The Environment Ministry's report to be viewed at the government meeting on March 22 suggests shortening the environmental impact assessment procedure by half a year. It now takes 3.5 to 4 years from developing the project to starting a wind park construction, Plešs said. The final word will not be said by the municipality, as it is now, but centrally by one public authority – State Construction Control Bureau.

According to Plešs, the new framework will establish a “green corridor” for the development of “green” electricity production projects in Latvia. For a long time, interest in the development of wind parks in Latvia has been very high. The Welfare Minister Gatis Eglītis noted that the planned regulation will reduce red tape and finally allow investment in renewable energy sources to be expected in Latvia. He believes that mechanisms should be created for municipalities to benefit from the operation of wind parks on their territory.

Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš said: “It is important for us to reduce our dependence on Russian energy. It will happen with massive development of wind parks. There will be a specific law [..] If we have wind turbines and infrastructure, we can turn it into electricity, thereby burning less Russian gas and becoming more independent.” 

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