On Wednesday 20 April 2016, the House of Commons considered the Lords amendments to the Energy Bill.
The majority of the Lords amendments were designed to ensure the early closure provisions would not be “backdated” as a result of the Bill being passed after the originally intended closure date of 31 March 2016 and these were all agreed to. The amendment moved by Labour peer, Lord Grantchester, which was agreed to by a very small majority of four votes in the House of Lords and which provides that where a planning authority had resolved to grant planning permission for a project on or before 18 June 2015 but planning permission was granted after this date, the planning criteria for the Approved Development Grace Period would be satisfied, was disagreed to. This amendment would have covered circumstances where a planning committee resolved to grant planning permission on or before 18 June subject to a Section 75 Agreement in Scotland or a Section 106 Agreement in England and Wales being entered into which was subsequently agreed after 18 June 2015.
The Commons provided the following reason for disagreeing with this amendment:
“Because it is not appropriate for renewables obligation certificates to be issued in respect of electricity generated after the date on which the Energy Bill is passed by onshore wind generating stations for which planning permission was granted in the circumstances described in the Lords Amendment.”
The Bill will now return to the House of Lords for consideration of the amendments made in the House of Commons. The date announced for this is 26 April 2016.
We are monitoring the Bill’s progress very closely. Watch this space for further updates and feel free to come and see us at Stand Q60 at All Energy 2016 in Glasgow on the 4th and 5th of May by which point the Bill may have become the Energy Act 2016.
Shepherd and Wedderburn solicitors, Susan Swan and Stephanie Mill will be running RO Grace Period Clinics during All-Energy and delegates are invited to attend these clinics to discuss on a one-to-one-basis the Energy Bill provisions in relation to the proposed early closure of the RO as it pertains to onshore wind and the grace periods. Please contact Sissel Holden at firstname.lastname@example.org to book an appointment for the RO Grace Period Clinics.