The Promotion of Renewable Energy Bill

A Bill to promote renewable energy; to give duties to the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets and to the Secretary of State; and for connected purposes.

1. Purpose of this Act

(1) The purpose of this Act is to promote renewable energy.

(2) Any person discharging any function pursuant to this Act must act in accordance with this purpose.

2. Government Subsidy Policy

(1) The Secretary of State must carry out a review of government subsidy policy with a view to decreasing the total amount of subsidy for fossil fuels and increasing the subsidy for renewable energy and energy efficiency.

(2) When carrying out the review the Secretary of State must consult

(a) Local authorities;

(b) Energy generators;

(c) Organisations representing energy generators;

(d) Organisations representing persons who produce, distribute or install energy efficiency measures or renewable energy systems; and

(e) Such other person who, in his opinion, have an interest in this matter.

(3) In this section ‘subsidy’ includes exemption from taxation that would otherwise be paid if that exemption did not exist.

3. The Climate Change Levy

Renewable energy is hereby exempted from the Climate Change Levy.

4. Priority Access to the Grid

It shall be the duty of the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets within twelve months of the passing of this Act to ensure that electricity generated from renewable sources is used by the national grid before energy from other sources.

5. Planning

(1) That, with the exception of national infrastructure projects, applications for planning permission relating to the generation of energy shall be decided by the local planning authority as specified by this section.

(2) In the case of an application for planning permission to erect wind turbines those turbines must

(a) either be situated in an area designated for wind energy in a local or neighbourhood plan; or

(b) where there is no such plan, following consultation, it can be demonstrated that the planning impacts identified by affected local communities have been fully addressed and therefore the proposal has their backing.

(3) In the case of subsection (2)(b) of this section whether a proposal has the backing of the affected local community is a planning judgement for the local planning authority.

6. Citation, Commencement and Extent

(1) This Act may be cited as the Promotion of Renewable Energy Act.

(2) This Act shall take effect on the day it receives Royal Assent.

(3) This Act shall apply to England, and subject to the agreement of the Welsh Assembly Government, to Wales.