The Parliament has certified the climate emergency decree law, which removes administrative barriers to implementing renewable energy by revoking a prior decree from 2009 that banned the establishment of wind energy and solar parks and placed Catalonia in the line in this sector.
The decree was approved by all of the chamber’s groupings, with the exception of two subgroups, which caused the CUP to vote against it and the PP to abstain.
Administrative barriers and limits are removed by the new decree, and a more agile method for processing licenses to install renewable energy is developed, in order to promote self-production systems in buildings, households, and public places.
The order also restores articles of the Climate Change Law that were overturned by the Constitutional Court after their language was changed, such as those that set goals to cut CO2 emissions by 2020, electrify the Generalitat’s ports, or introduce electric mobility in transportation.
The Minister of Enterprise and Knowledge, ngels Chacón, defended the order in the plenary of the Parliament, admitting that Catalonia now generates just 1,270 megawatts of wind energy and 273 photovoltaic megawatts per year, although the targets need 4,000 and 6,000 megawatts, respectively.
“There is a long way to go,” Chacón added, urging the passage of the Energy Transition Law and the establishment of the Catalan Energy Agency to be expedited.
“Neither the earth nor our country can wait any longer, and we may criticize what has been done in the past all we want, but we must shift from words to acts,” he said.
Citizens have complained that Catalonia is “in line” for renewable energy, despite the fact that the last wind farm was inaugurated in this community in January 2013.
The PSC and the Commons have praised the decree, but have warned that it “commits little” and might lead to dispute if the Energy Transition Law is not passed quickly.
ERC has been chastised by pro-government organizations for losing “nearly a decade and now Catalonia is a desert in renewables, therefore there is a possibility of having to undertake a shift driven by Ibex corporations seeking speculation.”
JxCat has stressed the necessity to “establish a legislative framework essential to construct renewable energy projects,” while the CUP has noted that the decree “has been crafted behind the territory,” and the PP has questioned the usefulness of the new restrictions.