Legislation and policy
The Department of Energy and Climate Change has published the Offshore Energy SEA Environmental Report which includes appendices on landscape/seascape, cultural heritage, and conservation of sites and species. The document will enable further rounds of offshore wind leasing and offshore oil and gas licensing in UK waters, including the underground storage of combustible gas. The deadline for comments is 22 April 2009.
The Scottish Government has commissioned a Marine Spatial Plan for the Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters and the Crown Estate is currently considering applications for leases for renewable energy developments in the Pentland Firth. A draft planning framework will be available by April which will be developed into an initial marine plan, through extensive consultation, over the next 12 months.
The Welsh Assembly Government launched the Renewable Energy Route Map which aims to transform the way Wales produces and uses energy in order to tackle climate change. This consultation has now closed and the responses will help the development of a Welsh Assembly Government energy strategy by early 2009.
DCLG has published the Government response to consultation replies on ‘Permitted development rights for householder microgeneration’ (PDF 206KB, November 2007).
The DTI website advises that the Energy White Paper: meeting the energy challenge, published in May 2007, sets out the Government’s energy strategy to respond to climate change, and to “put ourselves on a path to cutting CO2 emissions by some 60% by about 2050, with real progress by 2020”. The Energy White Paper may be accessed online (PDF c6.6MB).
Planning Policy Statement 22: Renewable Energy was published in August 2004, and states that “regional spatial strategies and local development documents should contain policies designed to promote and encourage…the development of renewable energy resources”. Sections 9 to 12 discuss renewable energy developments on sites of international and national importance.
BERR has recently announced support for two potential sources of low-carbon energy:
- Geopressure is being supported through the Renewables Obligation scheme. Malcolm Wicks, Energy Minister, stated “Geopressure has the potential to be a low-carbon energy source which will help the UK in meeting its ambitious targets to cut carbon emissions.” Geopressure occurs naturally through geological activity and can be used to generate electricity through its flow pressure.
- The terms of reference for a Government feasibility study of tidal power from the Severn Estuary have just been published. Expected to last two years, this study will include a Strategic Environmental Assessment and a public consultation in 2010.
DEFRA provides advice on the England rural development programme (PDF 60KB) energy crops scheme – information on grants and funding.
Natural England advises on climate change.
COWRIE produced ‘Guidance for assessment of cumulative impacts on the historic environment from offshore renewable energy’ (PDF 670KB). Historic environment guidance for the offshore renewable energy sector in January 2008.
The National Trust believes that the Government should prioritise energy demand reduction and small-scale and micro-renewable energy generation as cost-effective means of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 60 per cent by 2050 and provides information on microgeneration at NT properties.
English Heritage ‘support measures to reduce fuel consumption, increase energy efficiency and exploit renewable energy sources’. However they recognise that some renewable energy technologies could potentially cause serious damage to irreplaceable historic sites. Further information is available online.
English Heritage guidance on renewable energy technologies and the historic environment is available from the HELM site:
- Micro wind generation and traditional buildings June 2007 (PDF 935KB)
- Biomass energy and the historic environment December 2006
- Wind energy and the historic environment October 2005
- Coastal defence and the historic environment May 2003
Brecon Beacons National Park Authority launched the Renewable Energy Assistance Programme in September 2006, providing advice to everyone living within the National Park having an interest in increasing the energy efficiency of buildings with the installation of small scale renewable energy projects.
The Peak District National Park Authority published ‘Supplementary Planning Guidance for Energy Renewables and Conservation in 2003. Download full PDF (1.2MB). Also available from their webpage in sections.
- Support Us