At stake is the development of new wind power facilities in Galicia

From the wind sector we see with great concern the situation that is being triggered in Galicia with the succession of judicial stoppages of wind projects. From the utmost respect for the decisions of the courts of justice, we believe that the situation that is being generated produces insecurity to undertake investments in new wind projects and can have a very high cost for society.

With the innovative interpretation that the courts in Galicia are making of the application of Law 21/2013 on environmental impact assessment and, in particular, of the process of public participation during the environmental processing of projects, not only the development of new renewable installations in Galicia but also in the rest of Spain. In addition, the process that has been carried out historically and for more than 10 years in the public consultation phase for the environmental processing of any industrial facility or public infrastructure in our country and in Europe is called into question. .

According to the groups that have sued the files, any approval of any industrial facility, service infrastructure, etc., which has been carried out after the approval of Law 21/13 on environmental processing, has been done inadequately throughout. the country, even with the explicit approval of the independent legal advisors of the different public Administrations, with the technical analyzes of the Administrations’ experts, and with the successive political parties in the Government of different political signs in the different Autonomous Communities.

At this point, we are faced with a toxic situation that is impossible to understand in which infrastructures and facilities that have been processed diligently and openly, technically rigorous, and whose installation has been very positive, generating employment, integrating environmentally into the environment and coexisting with the population, they would now all be in question.

The procedures that are in question by the anti-wind groups have complied with the provisions of the Law, but it seems that it is not enough for these groups, which rely on interpretations of the regulations, which lead us to situations of structural blockade and impossible to get. The requirement of complete availability of all the technical reports of all the organizations involved before releasing a single line of the files of the projects to be processed for public consultation, has as its object the paralysis of the files. On the other hand, according to what they say, the processing of the parks has been appealed because it does not comply with European regulations, and this is simply wrong.

The Galician Wind Association (EGA) warns that the judicialization of wind power files may affect 75 wind projects, which have the corresponding favorable environmental impact statement and administrative authorization for their construction. The environmental analysis process is highly guaranteeing, to the point that it must pass the evaluation of fifteen organizations, because the parks need guarantees derived from applying regional regulations, state regulations and community regulations with the mandatory reports. Thus, and depending on the complexity of the project, the environmental processing can take between four and ten years, a period during which many private and public resources are invested. The goal of all this guarantee process is the favorable Environmental Impact Statement, a milestone from which the project can move towards obtaining the Administrative Construction Authorization.

With this stoppage in the processing of new wind farms due to complaints from certain groups, we would be at a juncture with catastrophic consequences. This scenario of uncertainty and legal insecurity generates a loss of confidence among investors; which makes it difficult to attract capital for future projects in Galicia, both renewable and wind, given the contagion effect that the loss of validity of the authorizations issued by the Administration can entail.

Our vision on this situation of paralysis of files

The public consultation process is initiated by the Administration body responsible for the processing, and as established by law, it initiates it to collect, at the same time, information from other bodies that may have to issue technical reports in this regard, and allegations or comments by any organization or person who wants to contribute their opinion in the project analysis process. Once the deadline for receiving comments, allegations or reports has expired, the responsible body analyzes the documentation and proceeds to approve or not the project, requiring or not modifying it.