Report (2nd Day)

Part of Energy Bill [HL] – in the House of Lords at 6:25 pm on 8th March 2011.

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Photo of Lord Davies of Oldham Lord Davies of Oldham Shadow Spokesperson (Transport), Shadow Spokesperson (Treasury), Shadow Spokesperson (Wales) 6:25 pm, 8th March 2011

My Lords, I am grateful for that last contribution from the noble Lord, Lord Deben. He indicated that past experience of the national parks was not always entirely satisfactory. As we all recognise, what Minister ever finds that a group for which he is responsible is entirely satisfactory? However, the noble Lord indicated that he did not quite subscribe to the perspective that my noble friend Lord Judd proposes in his amendment, and I am very glad that today he has indicated that he supports the amendment, which is an important contribution to the Bill. I am sure that the Minister will look upon it favourably. The national parks will not be asking for anything outrageous, merely that they should play their part.

We all recognise the uniqueness of the national parks' ability to commit themselves to aspects of renewable energy. I agree with the noble Lord, Lord Deben. The national parks should not be able to operate in an exclusive manner; they must also look towards canalising within their areas others that can make this contribution. However, there is no doubt that providing an opportunity for the national parks to contribute to these renewable energy developments will be advantageous, and I hope that the Minister takes the same view.