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Newsletter Momentum - Solar Power Projects: Pratical aspects and challenges from an urban planning perspective


Portugal is among the countries in Europe that benefit from better conditions for the installation of photovoltaic power stations, with irradiance values (kWh/sqm) only observed in certain regions of Spain and Italy. Solar power plants are thus multiplying in the country, whether for delivering energy to the grid or for self-consumption.

Decree-Law 72/2022, of October 19, aiming to accelerate the installation of new photovoltaic capacity in Portugal, guarantees faster licensing, and financial compensation to Municipalities of 13,500 euros for each MW installed in their territory thus improving the administrative authorities will towards licensing of solar power plants.

After publication of Decree- Law 72/2002, the European Council has issued Regulation (“EU”) 2022/2577 of December 22, 2022, establishing a regime to accelerate the deployment of renewable energies, published in the Official Journal of the European Union on December 29, 2022. Purpose and scope of this regime is to establish temporary emergency rules to speed up the licensing procedure applicable to the production of energy from renewable energy sources, with special emphasis on specific technologies or types of energy projects renewable energies capable of accelerating in the short term the pace of deployment of renewable energies in the European Union.

However, companies still face several challenges from an urban planning and licensing point of view, either related to the urban planning instruments in force, which are still often outdated in relation to the new energy market reality, or with the difficulties arising from the interpretation and combination of the various regimes involved in the administrative procedures prior to the installation and operation of solar power plants.

This publication aims to be a summary, in the form of questions and answers, of the main aspects of the legal framework and of the main challenges felt by operators in relation to the urban control proceedings involved in the implementation of solar power plants.