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(8) This section applies in relation to the Scottish Ministers and any functions conferred on them by or under this Chapter as it applies in relation to the Secretary of State and any functions conferred on the Secretary of State by or under this Chapter, except that
(b) the reference in that subsection to section 188 of the Energy Act 2004 is to be read as a reference to that section as applied and modified by subsection (12) (inserted by paragraph 13(e) of Schedule 1 to this Act).. [Malcolm Wicks.]
(A1) The Secretary of State may not give a notice under section 29(1) in relation to an offshore installation to a person
(P) who, in relation to the installation, falls within paragraph (b) or (c) of section 30(1), if
(b) the body corporate falls within that paragraph by reason only that it is associated (within the meaning given by section 30(8)) with a person to whom the Secretary of State may not give a notice in relation to the installation by virtue of subsection (A1).
(3A) A proposal that a person who is or has been within paragraph (b) or (c) of section 30(1) is to have a duty to secure that a programme is carried out may not be made if the Secretary of State would be prevented from giving a notice under section 29(1) to the person by virtue of section 31(A1) if the programme had not already been approved under this section.. [Malcolm Wicks.]
or an Act of the Scottish Parliament.
as the Scottish Ministers consider appropriate in consequence of Chapter 3 of Part 1 of this Act as that Chapter applies in relation to the territorial sea adjacent to Scotland (within the meaning of that Chapter) or in relation to functions of the Scottish Ministers.. [Malcolm Wicks.]
(1A) The Scottish Ministers may by order make any transitional, transitory or saving provision which appears appropriate in consequence of, or otherwise in connection with, Chapter 3 of Part 1 of this Act as that Chapter applies in relation to the territorial sea adjacent to Scotland (within the meaning of that Chapter) or in relation to functions of the Scottish Ministers..
, [Power to amend licence conditions: smart meters], [Power to amend licence conditions: procedure], [Smart meters: supplemental] (and sections 88 and 89 in so far as those sections apply in relation to orders made under section [Smart meters: supplemental](3)),. [Malcolm Wicks.]
(5) Subsection (2) does not apply in relation to anything done in, under or over the territorial sea adjacent to Wales or Northern Ireland in the course of carrying on an activity for which a licence under section 17 of the Energy Act 2008 is required..
(12) This section applies in relation to the Scottish Ministers as it applies in relation to the Secretary of State, and in its application to the Scottish Ministers it is to be read as if for subsections (6) and (7) there were substituted
(7) Section 192(4) applies in relation to the power of the Scottish Ministers to make regulations under subsection (6) as it applies in relation to an order or regulations made by the Secretary of State or the Treasury.
In section 34(3), (d) or..
Like many colleagues, I recognise that the challenges of global warming and energy security are two of the big questions and big themes for the 21st century. Against that rather grand backdrop, the Bill deals with specific but important issues. With the UK projected to import well over 50 per cent.possibly much moreof its gas by 2020, a fit for purpose regime for offshore gas projects is essential.
The Bill makes important amendments to current offshore legislation to create a new regulatory and licensing framework specifically designed for offshore gas storage and offshore liquefied natural gas unloading projects. That will simplify the regulatory process and create greater clarity and certainty for investors.
The Bill also creates a new regulatory framework for offshore carbon dioxide storage projects. While there has been considerable debate about the Governments carbon capture and storage demonstration competition, there is agreement in all parties that CCS is a vital technology for the future. Provisions in the Bill will help enable its long-term development.
Mr. Graham Stuart (Beverley and Holderness) (Con): The Government said in 2003 that action on CCS was urgent. Does the Minister agree that progress since thennearly five years agohas been pitifully slow?
Malcolm Wicks: No, I do not. However, I agree with the slightly different proposition that the UK is among a small group of lead nations on CCS. If we consider those that take the matter seriously and are pursuing demonstration projects, we cannot include many countries. With Norway and one or two others, we are a lead nation. I made that point earlier when quarrelling with the idea that the German grass is necessarily greener. I am proud that the UK will spend considerable amounts of public money demonstrating the application of CCS. I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for giving me the opportunity to put that on the record.
I am especially pleased that we have been able to extend the provisions on CCS to Scotland. That will ensure a single UK-wide regime for CCS, giving industry greater confidence and clarity, supporting investment in that vital new technology.
On renewables, our first priority must be, through the Bill, to maximise the renewables obligations effectiveness. The Bills reforms to the RO will help promote more rapid deployment of a wider range of renewable technologies, making it 30 per cent. more efficient in renewables deployment from 2009 to 2015.
Although microgeneration is not in the Bill, we have had a useful debate about it. I repeat our commitment that, as part of the renewable energy strategy, we will consider mechanisms to incentivise microgeneration further, including feed-in tariffs.
Underpinning our ambitions for greater levels of renewable electricity, the Bill will ensure that we have the infrastructure in place to transmit offshore renewable electricity to the onshore grid. This major area of work will continue after the passage of the Bill. In the short term, however, the Bill will add to existing powers to ensure that Ofgem can run cost-effective and efficient competitive tender exercises for offshore transmission licences. Introducing competition will help to avoid unnecessary delays and costs to offshore renewables projects, ultimately reducing risks and supporting investment.
There has been significant debate about the measures in the Bill that cover the decommissioning of energy installations, in particular those relating to new nuclear power. Although one of the objectives of our energy
strategy is to support investment, the Government have a responsibility to ensure that adequate protections are in place to ensure that the environment is protected and that the risk of costs falling to the Government is minimised. The Bill strengthens the existing decommissioning regime for both offshore renewables and oil and gas installations. The amendment that the Government have made to that area of the Bill will ensure that our legislation supports an active oil and gas sector in the UK continental shelf.
We have always been clear that developers and operators of new nuclear power, not the Government, must meet the full costs of decommissioning and their full share of waste management and disposal costs. The Bill provides the new legislative framework to ensure that all operators have in place a funded waste and decommissioning programme before operation of a power station commences. It will be a criminal offence to operate new nuclear power stations without an approved programme in place. To ensure that potential investors fully understand their liabilities, the Government have committed to establishing a fixed price for the disposal of new nuclear waste, which will be based on expected costs, including a significant risk premium.
Mr. Redwood: Does the Minister not agree, however, that in order to encourage the investment that we need in capacity of all kinds, in both oil and gas and electricity generation, we need low and stable taxes? Is he becoming concerned, as many business people are, that taxes are now rather high, unstable and capricious, and often enforced rather unpleasantly by the Revenue?
Malcolm Wicks: The right hon. Gentleman has found a nuclear peg on which to hang a familiar theme. When I talk to commercial operators, I am encouraged to find a great deal of confidence in the UK regime. That is important, given the significant amounts of investment that we will need in the next 10 or so years.
I am pleased that todays amendment to the Bill will enable us to add greater transparency to the process, by making it explicit in the Bill that the Government have the power to enter into the fixed price arrangement. The measures in the Bill reflect the fact that fossil fuels will continue to play a role in a diverse energy mix, alongside low-carbon generating options. As such, the amendments that the Bill makes to oil and gas regulation are designed to support ongoing production from the UK continental shelf and to reflect the evolving commercial environment in the oil and gas sectors.
Finally, we have introduced an enabling power to underpin the roll-out of smart meters, to medium-sized businesses in the first instance, but potentially to all energy consumers, including domestic customers. The Bill also contains a number of more minor areas of legislation. As a whole, the Bill will improve our regulatory framework and help create the right environment to encourage timely investment in diverse, increasingly low-carbon energy sources. I commend the Bill to the House.
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