Onshore Wind Bill [HL] - Second Reading

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 1:05 pm on 19 November 2021.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Baroness Hayman Baroness Hayman Crossbench 1:05, 19 November 2021

My Lords, I am extremely grateful to everyone who has taken part in the debate on the Bill. Normally on these occasions, we say that we are grateful to everyone, including the people who stood up with objections and argued against the Bill. There were no such objections in the debate today, and I think that is a reflection of the change in public attitudes to which many contributors have alluded.

I also thank the Minister as there was much to welcome in what he said: the issue around contracts for difference and the frequency of auctions; the acceptance that we need a sustained increase in onshore wind; the understanding that planning regulations at the moment are not, we might say, optimal; and the balance he described between environmental issues, landscape and community being—he did not say it but I will—out of kilter with the Government’s overall recognition of, and commitment to, the need to increase onshore wind.

It is a matter of whether we put our faith in the planning Bill, which has been an awfully long time coming and had several setbacks along the way, or whether we look at something that comes “prepared earlier” and fit for purpose to address the specific problem. Having listened to what he said, and to the suggestions of the noble Lord, Lord Kerr, we can improve this Bill, get it through and make it a valuable contribution to what has to be done. In the meantime, I will review very carefully what the Minister said, which was extremely helpful on a number of fronts.

Bill read a second time and committed to a Committee of the Whole House.