The Energy Bill 2015/16, currently starting the parliamentary process, is broadly aimed at bolstering the UK’s energy security. This is principally through strengthened support for North Sea oil and gas sector and the greater rights for local communities to have a say on decisions regarding onshore windfarm applications; this is together with the closure of the Renewables Obligation to new onshore wind schemes from April 2016.
In summary the bill aims to:
- establish the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) as an independent regulator and a Government company responsible for regulation and stewardship of domestic oil/gas production and assets and transfer the Secretary of State’s powers in this area to the OGA; and
- end public subsidies under the Renewables Obligation for new onshore wind in Great Britain from 1st April 2016 whilst removing Secretary of State’s position for consenting larger onshore wind farms (>50MW) under the Electricity Act 1989 and transfer of consenting into the planning arrangements under to Town and Country Planning Act 1990.
For more information, help or advice please contact Andrew Davison on 0191 211 7950.