To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what proportion of the renewable energy projects built in the last 15 years would (a) have been large enough to qualify for decision making by the Infrastructure Planning Commission proposed in the Planning Bill and (b) would have been dealt with by local authorities.
The Planning Bill provides that renewable energy projects generating electricity over 50 megawatts onshore and those generating over 100 megawatts offshore in England and Wales will in future be dealt with by the Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC). Approximately 3 per cent. (58.5 MW) of the 1,890 MW of constructed renewable generating capacity in England and Wales would have been consented via the IPC had it been in existence (Source: 2010 Planning Database). Another 390 MW of offshore wind generation has been constructed comprising of projects generating between 50 MW and 100 MW. The remainder of the constructed wind farms would have been decided by local authorities.
In addition, BERR has consented to more than 3,500 MW (around 3,000 MW offshore and 550 MW onshore) of renewable energy projects which have not yet been built but are above the threshold to be dealt with by the IPC in future.