Municipalities are now compelled to evaluate and answer requests for renewable energy installations within three months. Failure to do so will be equated with a granted authorisation.
According to a joint statement (FR) from the Ministries for Energy and Home Affairs, municipalities have been informed of a respective EU regulation dating to 22 December 2022, which established "a framework for the accelerated deployment of renewable energy installations".
The regulation was put in place as a reaction to the war in Ukraine and the accompanying increases of energy prices.
Towns now have a maximum of three months before they need to respond to a request for a renewable energy installation. This affects both the "installation of solar energy equipment and co-located energy storage facilities".
The majority of photovoltaic installations in private homes operate with a capacity of up to 50 kW. Requests for these installations must be answered within a month. Failure to provide a response within the time limit will be equated with a granted authorisation.
The same time limit will apply to the installation of regular heat pumps while geothermic ones can be evaluated within three months.
The statement further stresses that different regulations apply when the planning process affects cultural or historical heritage, national defence, or protected sectors. The statement concludes by noting that "all decisions resulting from the above-mentioned procedures for the granting of building permits must be made public by the municipalities, which means that from now on also negative decisions must be made public".