Energy Bill [HL]
Lord Greenway (Crossbench)
My Lords, I support the amendment of the noble Lord, Lord Higgins. I accept his apologies—I think we will blame the mistake on the Recess—but I did have my name down to the amendment at Report stage.
I agree very much with what the noble Lord said. At Report stage, the noble Lord, Lord Davies of Oldham, gave an assurance that he would look further into the matter of interference with marine communications, electronics, radar and so on. I believe that this has already been put in train and that the MCA is carrying out initial "in-field" studies in the vicinity of the North Hoyle wind farm off the north of Wales. The Government have called for consultation with the marine industry—I believe that comments have to be in by the end of next week—and so matters are moving ahead.
One of the arguments that the Government may have against the amendment is that it may unduly delay the process of issuing licences. But if they are getting on with it as quickly as I take them to be, we can get round that problem. There is the added problem of looking into the materials that are used in the construction of the wind turbines. That may also be having an effect on radio communications. Furthermore, we have to look at the cumulative effect. This is important because the wind farms will be built seawards of existing wind farms and the possible very large cumulative effect could increase the risk to navigational aids.
I fully support the amendment. The Government are aware of the problem and I hope that they will look favourably on the amendment.