Following criticism from Tesla, the National Regulatory Control Council is calling for accelerated approval procedures for industrial projects in Germany to allow its faster implementation. The changes in the bureaucracy apparatus will have a strong positive impact on the country and attract investors, as well as accelerate progress in the energy transition in Germany.
Because the construction of Tesla's factory in Germany faced delays due to an unnecessarily complex and lengthy approval process, in early April the company went to the Berlin-Brandenburg Supreme Administrative Court with a statement of criticism. Tesla explained that such a protracted process is hampering the achievement of an urgent climate change goal. “The German approval framework for industrial and infrastructure projects as well as spatial planning directly contradicts the urgency to plan and realize such projects that are necessary to battle climate change,” Tesla wrote. In a statement, Tesla proposed ten steps to improve approval processes.
Tesla suggested Brandenburg the following improvements to the legal process based on its own experience with approval procedures in Germany: pic.twitter.com/N6tQBCoD3y— Eva CyberFox (@EvaFoxU) April 9, 2021
Now the National Regulatory Control Council is also calling for reform of the planning and approval law, Handelsblatt reported. Vice-Chairman of the Board Sabine Kuhlmann said that "the new federal government should definitely put the slow approval process on the agenda," pointing directly to the weak point.
Recently, the Minister for Economic Affairs, Labor and Energy of Brandenburg Jörg Steinbach also has called for the planning and approval law in Germany to be reviewed following the completion of Tesla's process with the federal government. “With regard to the application of the Federal Emission Control Act and its associated approval procedures, we may be in a tunnel of operational blindness and may not see things that need modernization and reduced bureaucracy,” he said.
Kuhlmann said Germany "needs an agenda to accelerate the plan." Bureaucracy is a major obstacle to investment, but it is not the only problem. For Kuhlmann, it is also about making progress in the energy transition. At the end of June, the Council proposed seven steps to speed up the process. This includes mandatory conservation, species standardization, and faster litigation, as well as the use of project managers. All of these suggestions are to help with bottlenecks in licensing authority resources. The committee wants the federal states to create pools of experts. Then the municipalities could have recourse for help as necessary.
In addition, Kuhlmann is initiating a discussion about whether the approval procedure should always be reopened if the original application has been modified—as in the case of Tesla with Giga Berlin. It is completely unreasonable to start the whole approval process all over again, if the changes made are improvements; they just need to continue the existing process. This is something that Tesla was deprived of and that directly leads to long delays in obtaining the final environmental approval.
© 2021, Eva Fox. All rights reserved.
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Article edited by @SmokeyShorts, you can follow him on Twitter
About the Author
Eva Fox joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover breaking news as an automotive journalist. The main topics that she covers are clean energy and electric vehicles. As a journalist, Eva is specialized in Tesla and topics related to the work and development of the company.