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New energy bill to be implemented

Energy Secretary Amber Rudd has taken her first steps towards reforming energy legislation by announcing plans in the House of Lords.

The Energy Bill will set out the plans for onshore wind farms, new schemes and local council involvement.

Rudd has given local communities the power to veto planning propositions to ensure residents have “the final say” over onshore wind farm applications and that turbines are no longer “imposed on communities” who do not want them.

The government have also cut support for onshore wind by ended its Renewables Obligation scheme a year earlier than planned. Rudd defended this, saying:

“We will drive forward our commitment to end the public subsidy for onshore wind farms. Onshore wind is an important part of our energy mix but we now have enough projects in the pipeline to meet our renewable energy commitments.”

She wants instead to focus on encouraging the development of the UK’s oil and gas industry to help reduce reliance on foreign imports.

She’s already made no secret of her support for fracking hoping that it will bumpstart the shale industry and create more jobs.

She might have shot herself in the foot there though by giving local communities the power to veto. Cuadrillas application to frack in Lancashire was denied only a few weeks ago so it will be interesting to see how they fare with their appeal.