A Bill to make provision about the Oil and Gas Authority and its functions; to make provision about fees in respect of activities relating oil, gas, carbon dioxide and pipelines; to make provision about wind power; and for connected purposes.
The Energy Bill was introduced into the House of Lords on 9 July 2015. The Bill will deliver on two of the Government’s key energy commitments:
- Continue to support development of North Sea oil and gas.
- Allow local people to have a greater say on new onshore windfarm applications and close the Renewables Obligation scheme to new onshore wind from April 2016.
In summary the Bill will:
- Formally establish the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) as an independent regulator, which will take the form of a government company, charged with the asset stewardship and regulation of domestic oil and gas recovery.
- Transfer the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change’s existing regulatory powers on oil and gas to the OGA. The Secretary of State’s regulatory functions in relation to the environment would not be transferred.
- Give the OGA additional powers including: access to company meetings; data acquisition, retention and transfer; dispute resolution; and sanctions.
- Introduce provisions in relation to charges for the offshore oil and gas environmental regulator’s services to the industry.
- Make legislative changes to remove the need for the Secretary of State’s consent for large onshore wind farms (over 50 Mega Watt) under the Electricity Act 1989, acting alongside other measures to, in effect, transfer the consenting of new onshore wind farms into the planning regime in the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.
- Seek to end public subsidies for new onshore wind in Great Britain under the Renewables Obligation from 1 April 2016.
The Energy Bill, the accompanying explanatory notes and Impact Assessments are available on the Parliament website..