UK: Government Issues Draft Renewables NPS

Last Updated: 13 November 2009
Article by Munir Hassan, Vivek Gambhir, Robert Lane and Nicholas Molho

On 9 November 2009, the Department of Energy and Climate Change unveiled the draft Renewable Energy National Policy Statement (NPS) together with another five draft National Policy Statements, one Overarching Energy NPS (the Overarching NPS) and four 'technology-specific' energy NPSs.

The Renewable NPS is designed to facilitate and streamline planning application process for large renewable projects, as well as provide the framework within which development consents for these types of projects will be granted. This will be of particular interest to developers of renewable energy projects and other stakeholders in that industry.

As previously reported, the Government established a new independent body as part of the reform of the planning system, the Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC), which will consider all planning applications relating to nationally significant infrastructure projects in accordance with the guidance set out in the NPSs. It is anticipated that the NPS will bring more clarity and a higher degree of predictability to the process as it informs the applicants on the main issues the IPC will consider.

What sort of projects does the NPS apply to?

The Renewable NPS only applies to significant renewable energy infrastructure projects with the minimum threshold of:

  • 100MW for offshore wind
  • 50 MW for onshore wind and
  • 50 MW for energy from biomass and/or waste

The IPC will consider all projects that meet these thresholds and will make its decision within one year from the date of application, making it considerably faster than the current approval process which in some instances can take up to five years. All other projects that do not meet the set threshold will remain under local authority control for planning purposes.

Key points of the NPS

The NPS is divided into three separate sections dealing with three different renewable technologies: offshore wind, onshore wind and biomass/waste combustion. Within these three sections, the NPS lists (i) various factors that may influence project developers when selecting a site, (ii) technical considerations to be taken into account by the IPC when determining renewable projects and (iii) any impacts that the development and operation of the project may have.


Factors influencing site selection by applicants

  • Offshore Wind - in selecting a site for an offshore wind project, developers will need to consider factors such as environmental implications of the development, any permissions that need to be obtained from the Crown Estate before installing any offshore structures, wind resource of a proposed wind farm, geological conditions of the site and their suitability for the proposed development, grid connection into the relevant electricity network, and other offshore infrastructure or activities that may interfere with the site.
  • Onshore Wind - considerations such as predicted wind speed, proximity of site to dwellings, capacity of a site, connection of the proposed wind farm to the national grid and access to the site for both its construction and operation will be relevant to onshore wind farm developers.
  • Biomass and Waste Combustion - developers need to consider factors such as grid capacity and connection, any necessary links to transport networks, combined heat and power application, and carbon capture readiness for certain types of combustion generating stations.

Technical consideration for the IPC when determining renewable projects

  • Offshore Wind - the IPC will take into account technical considerations such as constrains presented by the regulatory regime for offshore transmission networks, any details of the project that the applicant may not know about at the time of the application but that will be finalised after the IPC consent, any allowances that should be made for unforeseen events that may affect the project (micrositing), any constraints in the leases for the land adjacent to existing consented wind farms, repowering of the old site with new turbines, monitoring and measuring the impact of the development, and any decommissioning programmes that need to be considered by the Secretary of State before any offshore construction work begins.
  • Onshore Wind - the IPC will considers technical factors such as access tracks to connect onshore wind farms to the public road network, the lifetime of the project, flexibility in the project details and design, any flexibility in a project consent due to any unforeseen event in the future, and repowering of existing sites with new turbines.
  • Biomass and Waste Combustion - the IPC will take into account any uncertainties in the development of a biomass/waste combustion plant to ensure necessary flexibility in the project details.


IPC Impact Assessment

  • Offshore Wind - the most important considerations for offshore wind projects when assessing their general impact include impacts on marine ecology and biodiversity (especially during construction and decommissioning of the project), the livelihood of fish, marine mammals and birds, commercial fishing activities, historic environment, navigation and shipping, and any existing oil, gas and other offshore infrastructure and activities.
  • Onshore Wind - the IPC will consider onshore wind project impacts on biodiversity and geological conservation, historic environment, landscape, visual and noise considerations, potential shadow flicker effect, and any effect on traffic and transport.
  • Biomass and Waste Combustion - in addition to the impact considerations set out in the Overarching NPS, the IPC should also assess the impact of biomass/waste combustion plant on air quality and emissions (this NPS does not cover CO2 emissions), landscape and visual effects, local and regional waste management, and residue management.

Next Steps

The consultation on this NPS is open to the public and will remain open until 22 February 2010. After the consultation is closed, the NPS will go to Parliament for approval following which the NPS will be designated and the IPC will acquire powers in accordance with the NPS. It is planned that the IPC commences its operations in March 2010.

To read our previous law-now on the Overarching NPS, please click here

This article was written for Law-Now, CMS Cameron McKenna's free online information service. To register for Law-Now, please go to www.law-now.com/law-now/mondaq

Law-Now information is for general purposes and guidance only. The information and opinions expressed in all Law-Now articles are not necessarily comprehensive and do not purport to give professional or legal advice. All Law-Now information relates to circumstances prevailing at the date of its original publication and may not have been updated to reflect subsequent developments.

The original publication date for this article was 12/11/2009.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
 
In association with
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of www.mondaq.com

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about Mondaq.com’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.

Disclaimer

Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.

Registration

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to unsubscribe@mondaq.com with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.

Cookies

A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.

Links

This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.

Mail-A-Friend

If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.

Security

This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to webmaster@mondaq.com.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to EditorialAdvisor@mondaq.com.

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at enquiries@mondaq.com.

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at problems@mondaq.com and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.