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Renewable Energy from Wind and Solar Power: Law and Regulation


ISBN13: 9780854902866
Published: May 2021
Publisher: Wildy, Simmonds and Hill Publishing
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Hardback
Price: £95.00



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Renewable Energy from Wind and Solar Power: Law and Regulation is concerned with the law and regulation of electricity generation in the case of the two most popular sources of energy derived from renewable resources. It covers up-to-date national policy and guidance relevant to electricity generation collected from renewable resources. There is also coverage of the powers of local planning authorities and of the Secretary of State, along with devolved powers in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, dealing with onshore and offshore projects. The book also examines the impact of Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects under the 2008 Act.

This book also covers consents under sections 36 (onshore and offshore wind generation) and 37 (overhead lines) of the Electricity Act 1989 and the grant of FEBA licences from the Marine and Fisheries Agency in the case of offshore consents. The availability of financial assistance for the generation and export of renewable energy to the grid is also dealt with and the book outlines the basic technology involved in wind and solar power. The energy planning regime is examined through a series of case studies which look at a number of recent decisions of the courts, the Secretary of State, inspectors and reporters, involving wind and solar energy proposals.

Renewable Energy from Wind and Solar Power: Law and Regulation will be an invaluable reference for lawyers, planning professionals and operators in the relevant sectors. It will also be of interest to others in showing how rapidly the industry is developing and of the regulatory processes involved in securing consents for the commercial development of energy from wind and solar power.

Subjects:
Local Government Law, Property Law, Construction Law, Environmental Law, Planning Law, Wildy, Simmonds and Hill, Energy and Natural Resources Law
Contents:
Preface;
Foreword;
List of Abbreviations;
Table of Cases
Table of Statutes;
Table of Statutory Instruments;
Table of EU Material
Table of Other Material

1. INTRODUCTION
Scope of introduction
Climate change
The UK’s record on climate change
The UK’s sources of energy
Brief statistical overview (fossil fuels and renewables)
Sites generating renewable electricity at the end of December 2019
European energy policy
UK renewables’ policies
Availability of financial assistance for the generation and export of renewable energy to the grid
Comment – should the planning balance change when it comes to renewable energy applications?

2. OVERVIEW OF THE REGULATORY FRAMEWORK AFFECTING WIND AND SOLAR ENERGY DEVELOPMENTS
Onshore energy
Permitted development
Planning Act 2008
Electricity Act 1989: section 36 consents for onshore and offshore electricity generation
Varying section 36 consents
Environmental standards
European sites
Environmental assessment
Exemption from consent requirement
Deemed planning permission
FEPA licence
Overhead electricity lines
Deemed planning permission for overhead lines
Public inquiries where there are objections to section 36 and section 37 applications
Ancillary or supporting facilities
Compulsory purchase powers
Position in Wales
Key elements of planning law
Development
Planning permission
National Planning Policy Framework in England
Sustainable development
Plan-making: key principles
Decision-making: key principles
Planning conditions and obligations
The rural economy
Green Belt land
Proposals affecting Green Belt land
Climate change
Conserving the natural environment
Conserving the historic environment
UK Solar PV Strategy (Parts 1 and 2)

3. NATIONALLY SIGNIFICANT INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS
Introduction
Policy Statements
The statutory process (i.e. that relevant to wind and solar energy)
Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project regime in Wales

4. ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT
Introduction
Purpose of Environmental Impact Assessment
Overview of Environmental Impact Assessment
When is an Environmental Impact Assessment required?
Procedure for deciding whether a Schedule 2 project is likely to have significant effects on the environment
Obtaining a screening opinion from the local planning authority
Treatment of multiple applications
Can an Environmental Statement be submitted without a screening opinion?
What if a planning application for a Schedule 2 development is not accompanied by an Environmental Statement?
Called-in applications where there is no Environmental Statement
Procedure for planning appeals
Determining planning applications that have been subject to an Environmental Impact Assessment

5. HABITATS AND SPECIES REGULATIONS 2017
Introduction
Overview of the Habitats Regulations 2017

6. PLANNING GUIDANCE RELEVANT TO WIND AND SOLAR ENERGY DEVELOPMENTS
Introduction
Regulatory framework underlying decision-making
National Planning Practice Guidance – Guidance on climate change
National Planning Practice Guidance – Guidance on renewable and low carbon energy
Electricity development consents
Decommissioning offshore renewable energy installations
Wayleaves and compulsory purchase orders

7. WIND FARMS
Introduction
Written Ministerial Statement applying to proposed onshore wind energy development
Report of the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee published on 22 August 2019
Repowering existing onshore wind turbines
How do offshore and onshore wind farms work?
How efficient is wind power?
How much of the UK’s electricity comes from wind power?
Advantages of offshore wind
Disadvantages of offshore wind (see also onshore wind farms where there is some overlap)
Seven of the ten largest offshore wind farms in the world are in UK waters
Advantages of onshore wind
Disadvantages of onshore wind
Checklist of requirements for wind energy projects
Cost and overheads of wind turbines
Repowering/decommissioning wind farms

8. CASE STUDIES INVOLVING WIND POWER PROJECTS
I Permission Granted for Four Wind Turbines near to an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
II Wind Farm Close to Listed Buildings
III Wind Turbine in Green Belt
IV Wind Turbines and Community Benefits as Material Considerations
V Policies Requiring Exceptional Circumstances in the Context of a Wind Farm Development involving Seven Wind Turbines on Land in Powys
VI Varying Conditions whose Effect was to Change the Description of the Development (Concerning Two Wind Turbines)
VII Community Benefits as Material Considerations – Appeal Against a Decision to Uphold the Quashing of a Grant of Planning Permission for a Wind Turbine
VIII Permission for Onshore Substation to Support Major Offshore Wind Farm
IX Approval of Wind Farm Despite the Turbines Exceeding Local Policy Height Restrictions
X Proposal for Eight Wind Turbines Fails on Adverse Landscape and Visual Impacts
XI Proposal for Five 125m High Wind Turbines Allowed on Orkney
XII Lifetime of Wind Farm Extended on Basis that the Proposal Involved Repowering and was not a Fresh Application
XIII Approval Given to 14-Turbine Wind Farm Despite Concerns about 19km Access Track
XIV Ten-Turbine Wind Farm Approved despite Landscape Objections
XV Single Wind Turbine on Green Belt close to Heathrow Rejected
XVI Five Wind Turbines Refused on Significant Environmental Grounds
XVII Single Turbine Allowed where Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Landscape and Visual Impacts Found to be Minor (Involving Heritage Issues and Local Planning Authority’s Declaration of Climate Emergency)
XVIII Benefits Associated with the Generation of Renewable Energy and Climate Change Considerations still Insufficient to Outweigh Adverse Impacts on Landscape and Visual Effects Could Not Satisfactorily be Mitigated
XIX Renewable Energy Benefits still Insufficient to Outweigh Adverse Landscape Impacts
XX Permission Refused for a Development Consent Order Extending the Thanet Offshore Wind Farm on the Ground of Navigational Risks
XXI Development Consent Granted for 158 Wind Turbines off the Norfolk Coast (Decision recently quashed and subject to re-determination)
XXII Development Consent Granted in Principle for 231-Turbine Hornsea Project Three Offshore Wind Farm in the North Sea, although a Final Decision was Delayed to Allow for Final Approval of Measures to Cover Adverse Impacts to the Kittiwake Population and Coastal Special Protection Area
XXIII Unacceptable Landscape and Visual Impacts Preclude 30-Turbine Wind Farm in an Area of Great Natural Beauty in Dumfries and Galloway
XXIV Single Wind Turbine Allowed in Close Proximity to Existing Wind Farm

9. SOLAR ENERGY
Photovoltaic system
Solar cells
Types of photovoltaic systems
Performance
Photovoltaic mounting
Cabling
Solar tracker
Battery
Selling solar electricity back to the grid (domestic installations)
How much electricity do solar panels produce and how many panels might one need for a dwelling?
How much do residential solar panels cost?
Commercial-scale ground-mounted solar photovoltaic – bullet points
Ministerial Statements affecting solar energy (as material considerations)

10. CASE STUDIES INVOLVING SOLAR POWER DEVELOPMENT
I Whether the Effect that Development might have on Solar Panels on Neighbouring Residential Property was a Material Planning Consideration
II Large Solar Farm in Green Belt Rejected on Landscape Grounds by Secretary of State on Recovered Appeal – Appeal Dismissed
III 10MW Solar Farm Rejected because of Harm to Landscape – Appeal Refused
IV Solar Farm Rejected on Landscape and Heritage Grounds – Appeals Refused
V Domestic Solar Energy Proposal on Land Just Outside a National Park Rejected on the Basis of Green Belt Harm – Appeal Dismissed
VI Solar Panels Not Allowed on Grade II Listed Church – Appeal Partly Allowed
VII Free-standing Solar Panels Not Allowed in Grounds of Country House in National Park – Appeal Dismissed
VIII Free-standing Solar Panels for Domestic Use Not Allowed in Green Belt and Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – Appeal Dismissed
IX 13.6GWh Solar Farm on 16 Hectare Site Rejected because of Adverse Visual and Heritage Impacts – Appeal Dismissed
X The UK’s Largest Solar Farm Obtains a Development Consent Order
XI Renewable Energy and Climate Change Benefits of Solar Farm Sufficient to Justify Additional 10-Year Period of Operation

Index