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New rules on the development of renewable energy production capacities on agricultural lands located in the extra-urban areas

On 24.07.2022, Law no. 254/2022 amending and supplementing the Land Law no. 18/1991 and other regulations (Law no. 254/2022) entered into force, which introduces a series of changes regarding the placement of renewable electricity production capacities on agricultural land located in the extra-urban areas. According to the provisions of this normative act, new categories of constructions may be built on agricultural lands located in the extra-urban areas.

The amendments introduced by Law no. 254/2022 address the following matters:

The placement of investment objectives specific to the production of electricity from renewable sources with a surface of a maximum 50 ha may be performed on agricultural lands of quality class III, IV and V, having the category of use arable, grassland, vineyards and orchards, as well as on those developed with land improvement works, located in the extra-urban area. Law no. 254/2022 also includes an exemplification of these categories of investment objectives, namely: solar energy, wind energy, biomass, bioliquids and biogas energy production capacities, electricity storage units, transformer substations, other similar systems.

These objectives will be able to be developed on the basis of the building permit and the approval of the permanent or temporary removal from the agricultural circuit at the moment of the authorisation of the constructions with the payment by the beneficiaries of the tariffs provided under the law.

Dual use – both for agricultural production and for electricity production from renewable energy sources, of agricultural lands, except for lands having arable category of use. In such cases, permanent or temporary removal from the agricultural circuit shall be made only for the surfaces of land occupied by the investment objectives.

For the placement of investment objectives with surfaces higher than 1 ha, the permanent or temporary removal from the agricultural circuit is approved based on the decision of the director of the county agricultural department, with the endorsement of the specialized structure of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. The deadline for issuing these approvals will be of maximum 45 days as of the registration of the application. Exceeding the deadline by the competent authorities will be considered as tacit approval.

Also, the approval of the removal from the agricultural circuit is subject to the prior consent of the landowners and the opinion of the county and Bucharest municipality agricultural bodies, where applicable.

These amending provisions adopted according to Law no. 254/2022 will produce legal effects until 31.12.2026.

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