Public consultation for a people-centered and ecologically sustainable spatial planning of renewable energy stations

Posted on June, 30 2022

WWF Greece launches today an open public consultation lasting three months on a legal proposal of a new system of spatial development of renewable energy power stations and storage facilities.

Accelerating the transition to a RES-based electricity system, which for decades has been a claim of the environmental movement around the world, is now a clear goal of the European Union, as it is most strongly expressed in debates at the European Parliament, Council and the European Commission.

The energy transition to a system based entirely on renewable energy sources must be developed in terms of social justice and environmental protection, in order first to ensure that: a. all citizens benefit from the production of cheap renewable energy, b. the important elements of the ecological wealth of the country are not affected, c. the burdens of the energy transition are shared fairly and d. there is special care for the most vulnerable social groups, but also area-specific populations, such as the lignite areas of Western Macedonia and Megalopolis.

The aim of the proposed system is to address the country's major challenges on the path to climate neutrality, such as:


  • Climate target of 100% of electricity generation from renewables by 2035.
  • Serious compliance deficit with EU biodiversity protection legislation (92/43/EEC and 2009/147/EC), which makes it difficult to locate many RES units that could have a disproportionate impact on protected species and habitats.
  • Incomplete spatial planning at the regional level, with which the directions and regulations established for RES do not ensure the legally safe and environmentally optimal development of the relevant facilities.
  • Absence of meaningful social engagement, both in the formulation and implementation of the special spatial planning framework and in the development of RES units.

WWF Greece’s proposal on a new RES siting system (a new law) makes a distinction between land and sea go-to areas (more appropriately, “go-first” areas) and avoidably go-to areas (go-to only if proven scientifically and beyond reasonable doubt that the stock of preferred areas has been used up). The no-go areas are those where protective or other zoning decrees already prohibit such (or any type of) developments and all the Natura 2000 sites for which the necessary conservation measures of article 6(1) of the Habitats Directive have not yet been established (it is our ask that no plans and projects can be approved within Natura 2000 in the absence of the necessary conservation measures). 

The key tool of the proposed system is the designation of appropriate siting zones within go-to areas. Only in case RES energy production targets cannot be met within such areas, appropriate zones can also be identified within avoidably-go areas.

Overall, the areas are classified into:

  1. go-to (preferred) areas, with criteria of proximity to existing facilities and infrastructure and compatibility with other activities, and
  2. avoidable areas, in which new power stations can be developed only if the depletion of preferred areas is documented in a science-based manner;
  3. no-go zones, which are either already provided for by current legislation or Natura 2000 areas whose protection has not yet been legally safeguarded through the necessary conservation measures (art. 6 of the Habitats Directive).

The urgent need for fossil fuel phase-out through the transition to a fully renewable energy system has become headline news in recent months, both due to the crisis over fossil fuel dependence and the dramatic war of Russia against Ukraine. Europe's transition to an electricity system that is entirely based on renewable energy sources is therefore not only a political priority for the climate, but also offers energy security, geopolitical stability and a pathway to lower electricity prices.

The public consultation takes place in the public engagement platform (in Greek) 

More information: 

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