Country
European Union
Sources
InforMEA
Tagging
Protected Areas, Biodiversity, Environmental Impact Assessments, Air pollution, Jurisdiction, Permits, Administrative
Abstract
This reference for a preliminary ruling concerns the interpretation of Directive 2009/28 /EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2009 on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources and amending and subsequently repealing Directives 2001/77/EC and 2003/30/EC, Directive 2001/77/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 September 2001 on the promotion of electricity produced from renewable energy sources in the internal electricity market, Council Directive 92/43/EEC of 21 May 1992 on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora (‘the Habitats Directive’) and Council Directive 79/409/EEC of 2 April 1979 on the conservation of wild birds (‘the Birds Directive’). The reference has been made in proceedings between Azienda Agro-Zootecnica Franchini Sarl (‘Azienda Agro-Zootecnica Franchini’) and Eolica di Altamura Srl (‘Eolica di Altamura’), on the one hand, and the Regione Puglia (Apulia Region), on the other, concerning the refusal to authorise the location of wind turbines not intended for self‑consumption on land situated within the confines of the Alta Murgia national park, a protected area classified as a site of Community importance (‘SCI’) and special protection area (‘SPA’) forming part of the Natura 2000 European Ecological Network (‘the Natura 2000 network’), even though no prior assessment had been carried out as to the environmental impact of the project on the particular site concerned. The Court (First Chamber) ruled that Directive 92/43 on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora, Directive 2001/77 on the promotion of electricity produced from renewable energy sources in the internal electricity market and Directive 2009/28 on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources do not preclude legislation that prohibits the location of wind turbines not intended for self-consumption on sites forming part of the Natura 2000 European Ecological Network, without any requirement for a prior assessment of the environmental impact of the project on the site specifically concerned, on condition that the principles of non-discrimination and proportionality are respected.