HL Deb 20 April 2004 vol 660 cc237-49

New licences for offshore wind farms shall not be granted until the Secretary of State has Commissioned, received and approved a full report on the effects of offshore wind farms on radar, radio and other devices used by vessels for the purpose of navigation and been satisfied that these effects would not compromise safety or arrangements for search and rescue operations."

The noble Lord said: My Lords, in moving Amendment No. 11, I apologise to the noble Lord, Lord Greenway, for the fact that, due to an unexplained breakdown in communications, his name does not also appear above the amendment. We have benefited greatly from his contributions to our earlier debates on these issues.

This amendment and the two following it are all concerned with the effects and dangers of wind farms to shipping. When this matter first came to my attention at earlier stages, I was concerned about the way in which the interests of the shipping industry, but more particularly the safety aspects of wind farms in relation to shipping, had not been adequately considered.

Since then the House has agreed to two amendments which will be important in helping to improve the situation, but it still seems extraordinary to have reached what is known as Round 2 of the allocation of wind farm sites. The Crown Estate has gone ahead with putting forward proposals for sites, some in the Thames Estuary, some outside the Greater Wash and some outside Liverpool, which have progressed to the extent that individual companies have been asked to submit more specific proposals. One would have thought that, in circumstances where the Government are proposing to authorise the establishment of offshore wind farms, the first question would have been, "Where are the shipping lanes?". They could then have sited the wind farms at an appropriate distance away from them. On the contrary, the approach adopted by the Government seems to have been to site the wind farms where it seems most beneficial and to expect shipping to go around them. This seems to me an extremely dangerous approach to the problem.

That brings me specifically to the amendment before the House. One of the considerations which clearly ought to have been taken into account, but appears not to have been considered at all, is the effect that offshore wind farms may have on radio, radar and other devices used by vessels for the purposes of navigation. When we debated this matter at an earlier stage, the Minister made various suggestions, including that we should have discussions. I expressed my appreciation to him for arranging a meeting with him, together with some of his officials.

I turn to the progress that we should make on what seems to be an important point. The effect of wind farms on radar and navigational arrangements is somewhat uncertain; they can affect radar transmissions both from shore to ship and from ship to shore. Even at this stage it is not entirely clear how such interference will take place. Clearly, the establishment of a whole row of turbine pillars is likely to have an effect. I do not believe that the generation of electricity by the turbines is likely to affect radar, although the Minister may care to express a view on that. More particularly, the danger appears to arise from the vanes of the turbines; they may not turn either because there is no wind or because there is too much wind. We are unaware of the effects that that will have on ships' radar. There are very real dangers.

I hope that the Minister will be prepared to accept the amendment in the terms in which it appears in the Marshalled List. It is an extremely reasonable amendment. However, the important point about it is that such studies should be carried out and we believe that the Secretary of State should Commission them. In part the funding may come from the deposits that the Crown Estate has already collected from potential developers. My Treasury halo tends to emerge at this stage in the proceedings. More particularly, having reached this late stage in the process of round two proposals, it is essential that one does not go ahead with final consent until we are clear what effect wind farms will have on shipping. If one goes ahead without such clarification, particular licences may be granted to individual contractors and we may find that the dangers inherent in the effects of wind farms on navigation are greater than was believed.

There is much anecdotal evidence to be found from other countries, particularly Denmark or Holland, which already have considerable experience of ships passing near to wind farms. I frequently fly over the approaches to Rotterdam and perhaps some experience can be gained there. One also needs to look at the more specific problems before reaching a final conclusion. I stress that it appears to me that we must get on with this matter. It is extraordinary that we have not already taken this point into account, given that the Ministry of Defence, for example in relation to aircraft, clearly is concerned about the issue.

I am grateful to the Minister for his earlier response, but we have come to the point where clarification is needed. We need to do something to reduce the concern that has been expressed about such dangers. It is true to say that the environmental lobby is increasingly schizophrenic on this issue. While we would all like to see more renewable energy of the type produced by wind farms—I am not against them in principle—there is a problem: if ships have to make diversions or have to queue outside the approaches to ports, additional greenhouse gases may be produced that otherwise would not have been emitted by the vessels.

Against that balance, I see no evidence at all of the Government considering the balance between renewable energy generation and the increased pollution due to the diversion of ships. More particularly, there is a major danger of an environmental disaster in terms of a ship—perhaps a tanker—hitting such a set of obstacles with disastrous effect. Indeed, that might happen not only on one occasion but time and time again unless we are clear that the safety zones around them—and the location of them, in particular—are sufficient to ensure that ships are able to navigate safely past the wind farms.

This is an important amendment. I hope very much that the Government will sympathetically accept it. I beg to move.

Lord Greenway

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.

Lord Davies of Oldham

My Lords, I am grateful to the noble Lord, Lord Higgins, for the way in which he moved the amendment and to the noble Lord, Lord Greenway, for his remarks. As they will recognise, there is not a great deal of difference between the Government's position and the one advocated so ably by both noble Lords.

I gave an assurance at Report stage that the Government would carry out the study mentioned in the amendment, and we stand by that undertaking. As the noble Lord, Lord Higgins, emphasised, it is important that wind farms do not compromise safety by interfering to an unacceptable degree with ship communications systems. The point made in the amendment about search and rescue is of particular importance and well made. Time is often of the essence in search and rescue situations and communications systems obviously must be working to the highest standards in such circumstances.

As the noble Lord, Lord Higgins, indicated, it is important that the Government should draw on international experience. We shall look at Denmark and, as the noble Lord suggested with great emphasis, the Netherlands, both countries having substantial numbers of wind farms in coastal areas. We can also use the offshore wind farm at North Hoyle as a test facility to provide an input into the study.

We see the study as a priority. Where it will go from the initial information-gathering phases is difficult to predict. However, I can assure the noble Lord that the effect of a wind farm on ships' communications systems will certainly be one of the issues which will need to be addressed when the developers of the round two offshore wind farm projects submit their applications for consent as part of the process of considering the impact on marine safety.

I want to give the noble Lord a further assurance that the Government will take into account all costs and benefits with regard to the proposal, so his point about the extra pollution caused by ships having to navigate around wind farms will be taken into account at that stage. That is a point properly made.

We have repeatedly made it clear that consent will not be granted when a wind farm presents a danger to navigation. We do not expect that the first applications for consent will be submitted until some months from now. That gives us a window in which to complete the study and to consider the outcome.

I hope, therefore, that the noble Lord will recognise that he has made his point. We accept the necessity for the study. We have time to do it, we will draw on international experience, and we will take into account all the factors that he and the noble Lord, Lord Greenway, brought to our attention. If I were pressed on the amendment, I could elaborate about technical difficulties. However, the noble Lord, Lord Higgins, and I are so close in empathy about what should be achieved with regard to action on the round two submissions that I hope he will recognise that I have moved as far as I can without directly accepting the amendment. On that basis, I hope that he will feel that he can take these assurances and will be prepared to withdraw the amendment.

Lord Higgins

My Lords, I thank the Minister for that reply. I am sorry that he cannot simply accept the amendment; I think it would be helpful to have it in the Bill. He has given no reason why he is unable to do so. It is therefore rather tempting to press the amendment to a Division and get it in the Bill, so that we know where we stand. However, I served my apprenticeship in another place under the late lain Macleod who, in the face of assurances of the kind which the noble Lord has given this evening, said that it was not the policy of the Opposition to shoot Santa Claus. That probably applies in this case. Therefore, I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 93 [Consents for generating stations offshore]:

Lord Higgins moved Amendment No. 12: Page 71, line 12, at end insert— () In section 36(1) of the 1989 Act (consent required for the construction etc. of generating stations) at the end of subsection (1) insert "and such consent shall only be given in relation to offshore wind farms after full consultation with representative bodies of marine users".

The noble Lord said: My Lords, the amendment would provide that consent required for the construction and so on of generating stations shall be given in relation to offshore wind farms only after full consultation with representative bodies of marine users.

One reason why I have been so alarmed at the way in which these matters have been dealt with hitherto is the extraordinary way in which the Crown Estate in particular and other government departments seem to have pressed ahead in the way I described earlier without consulting the various shipping industries, Trinity House, port authorities, and so on. We are now at a very late stage—we are already through round one of the consultations and there seems to have been remarkably little involvement with interests that might be concerned with safety and navigation. Those sites have actually been given permission, with all the problems to which I referred, particularly the question of whether the ships have to go round the wind farms rather than the wind farms being put out of the way of the ships. The noble Lord, Lord Greenway, and others drew attention at an earlier stage to the very real dangers that could result if those interests were not taken fully into account.

There is also the problem, which has been mentioned in earlier debates, of our international obligations. I find the present ministerial structure overall somewhat puzzling. However, I almost wonder whether one should not appeal to the Deputy Prime Minister, Mr John Prescott, on these issues, considering his long-standing interest in shipping matters. But we really must ensure that these various interests are fully consulted before any further consents are given. I stress the word "consents", because we have already reached the stage at which a diagram has been published by the Crown Estate showing that it has allocated particular sites to particular contractors. However, within those sites there is still the question of the environmental aspects being taken into account and an environmental impact assessment eventually being made.

One thing that has concerned the outside interests is that they have previously not been given full information about what is happening on the grounds of commercial confidentiality, between the Crown Estate on one side and those responsible for the proposals for the development of a particular site on the other. Safety must come first as far as that is concerned. If there are specific proposals, the outside shipping interests should be consulted ahead of any final decision being made. I hope that the Minister will give us a satisfactory reply and assure us that all these problems will be dealt with in future even though unfortunately—and alarmingly in some ways—they have not been dealt with previously. I beg to move.

9 p.m.

The Duke of Montrose

My Lords, I offer my support to the noble Lord, Lord Higgins, on the matter of consulting fishermen's interests. During the recess, I was talking to a gentleman connected with the fishing industry. He remarked that, as far as he knew, the Government had not conducted any formal consultations with the fishing industry, which the amendment moved by the noble Lord, Lord Higgins, would require. Perhaps this is the time for that consultation to take place, but it would be reassuring to know that the Government were required to carry it out.

Lord Greenway

My Lords, I support the thrust behind the amendment, but I am bound to say that, as a result of what has already transpired at earlier stages of the Bill, the message has probably got through. There will certainly be much wider consultation with the marine industry for future rounds.

When one looks at the proposed sites for round 2, it is obvious that efforts have been made to try to position these offshore wind farms where they will not have too much effect on shipping. However, as the noble Lord, Lord Higgins, said, there are one or two glaring examples where they have been plonked in almost the worst possible place, where they could not affect shipping more—one in the Thames estuary and one off the Humber. Therefore there must be consultation with the interested marine parties before any licence to develop a site is given.

I take comfort from the fact that the Transport Select Committee in another place is due to examine the whole business of offshore wind farms on Wednesday next week, so further focus will be put on this matter. I support the thrust behind the amendment, but I feel that we have already stirred up enough interest in the subject for the amendment not to be necessary.

Lord Davies of Oldham

My Lords, the noble Lord, Lord Greenway, is right. Issues have been raised with sufficient force for the amendment not to be necessary. However, I wish to assure the noble Lord, Lord Higgins, who moved the amendment and the noble Duke, the Duke of Montrose, that all maritime interests will be taken into account. I very much agree that it is vitally important that there is full consultation with the representative bodies of marine users, including fishermen, before a decision is made to grant an application for a Section 36 consent. Best practice dictates that such consultation takes place and that is what happens in practice. I see no real need to formalise that process in legislation. I will try to illustrate how we are consulting. All applications for Section 36 consent for offshore wind farms must be accompanied by an environmental statement. The Secretary of State cannot grant a Section 36 consent unless the applicant has provided an environmental statement that meets the content requirement set out in regulation. The statement must include an assessment of the likely impact of the development on the environment, including direct and any indirect effects.

The aspects of the environment that must be taken into account are wide-ranging and cover not only the impact on the marine environment itself but users of the sea, such as the fishing community, to which the noble Duke, the Duke of Montrose, referred, recreational sailors, whose interests the noble Lord, Lord Greenway, has at heart, and commercial shipping, which the noble Lord, Lord Higgins, has always emphasised in his contributions to amendments tabled in the past.

A proper assessment of the impact of the proposal requires thorough consultation with all stakeholders with an interest. Developers who do not consult properly run the risk that when it is made the application will be rejected by the Secretary of State or Scottish Ministers as inadequate, or that stakeholders will lodge objections to the project. The developers who have been granted site options by the Crown Estate for the second round of offshore wind farms are at the beginning of the process of gathering information for their environmental assessments and preparing their environmental statements.

The department held a preliminary workshop on 12 March to bring together the developers with key government advisers. When a developer applies for consent under Section 36, he must publish notice of the application in local and national newspapers as well as in the London Gazette or, in Scotland, the Edinburgh Gazette. That process formally alerts all interested parties to the application.

It is therefore not necessary to formalise a requirement for consultation because all interested parties will be given an opportunity to make their views known to the Secretary of State or to Scottish Ministers before they take any decision on such proposals. It is clearly in the interests of the developer to undertake such consultations with marine users. Those who do not run the risk that their application may be rejected by Ministers on the basis of a failure to consult relevant interested parties, or may find that formal objections are made to the project.

The amendment focuses on consultation with representative bodies of marine users alone. I understand the proper concerns that the noble Lord has voiced on shipping matters, but the amendment could cause some confusion by giving the impression that consultation is required with marine users but not with other stakeholders. For example, a large number of environment groups have a clear and obvious interest in offshore wind farms.

I hope that I have indicated to noble Lords that we take consultation very seriously. The amendment is more limited than perhaps might be warranted by the number of stakeholders who have an interest in this matter. We intend that all stakeholders should play their part as appropriate in any application. On that basis, I hope that the noble Lord will feel that I have given him the assurances that he required.

Baroness Byford

My Lords, I believe that I heard the Minister say clearly that consultation happens in practice now. However, my noble friend the Duke of Montrose said that the fishermen had not been consulted. I wonder whether the Minister's remarks were relevant to the first wave or the second wave. If one of the major organisations feels that it is not being consulted, that cannot be happening in practice. If the Minister could give us an example, I would be grateful.

Lord Davies of Oldham

My Lords, it is of course the case that we are in the early stage. I can give the assurance that fishermen's interests are taken into account. In fact, they have been present at meetings with the DTI on the whole structure. The noble Duke, the Duke of Montrose, may have met a group of fishermen who have not yet been party to the discussions. It will obviously take some time for the issues to percolate down, particularly with regard to wind farms in particular areas of the country. I seek to indicate, in my admittedly rather general reply, that all those interests are being consulted, and we expect them to be consulted. We cannot conceive of the submission of any application that does not give evidence of the fact that stakeholders have been consulted.

Lord Higgins

My Lords, I am grateful to the Minister for that reply. The noble Lord, Lord Greenway, hit the nail on the head. The reality of the situation is that there was not adequate consultation, as far as one can establish, during round 1. It is really only since these matters have arisen on this Bill that there has been a more positive and active response by the Government regarding consultation. I think that noble Lords should be pleased that they have fulfilled a useful function in that respect.

I understand the point that the Minister made about the narrowness of the amendment. Clearly, it is important that all interested parties should be involved. I hope that environmental groups will take an active interest in the risk of a major environmental disaster compared with what one must say is a somewhat marginal benefit as far as concerns wind farms, given the problems of ship diversion and so on. I hope that they will take that point fully into account and make suitable representations.

I am still somewhat worried about the actual structure. Perhaps the Transport Select Committee in another place might look into this matter. The environmental statement is made by the developer, who clearly has an interest in producing a favourable environmental statement. That is why it is so important that other interests should be considered at an early stage. These interests—shipping, environment and so on—should be very clearly aware of what specific proposal is being made before the Minister considers whether it is appropriate.

The other point that I think is very important is that probably about half of the proposals in round 2 are in areas where a significant number of shipping movements take place and where the location of offshore wind farms could infringe Article 60 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. We have not really stressed this point, other than to express concern about the extent to which the Government may be in conflict with their treaty obligations regarding international shipping. In that context, it is important that, in addition to the consultations that we have already discussed, and, as the Minister said, taking as widespread a view as possible, they should also be in touch with the International Maritime Organization, which is conveniently located within walking distance down the road. Its interest should be taken into account.

I do not propose to press this amendment to a Division. I hope that as a result of the debates that we have had on the Bill the Government are now aware that they were failing to consult adequately. We must express the hope that they will consult adequately in future. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Lord Higgins moved Amendment No. 13: Page 71, line 12, at end insert— () After the passing of this Act, consents for generating stations offshore shall not be given to applications made under the provisions of the Transport and Works Act 1992 (c. 42).

The noble Lord said: My Lords, this is a much more technical amendment and it is concerned with the way in which applications are made. As I understand it, it is possible for applications to be made under either the Transport and Works Act 1992 or the Coast Protection Act 1949. I also understand that under round 1 at least half of the farms in territorial waters have been given approval under the Transport and Works Act 1992, even though this tends to be a more expensive way of making an application than if it is done under the Coast Protection Act 1949.

The Transport and Works Act expressly excludes the requirement to obtain consents under the Coast Protection Act. However, unlike the CPA, it does not address dangers to navigation or safety of navigation. Instead, it allows the extinction of public rights of navigation where proposed installations interfere with those rights and could give rise to actions for nuisance.

Consequently, under the TWA, there is no statutory requirement for wind farms causing a danger to navigation to be addressed. The Maritime and Coastguard Agency will be asked to assess draft TWA orders from the safety of navigation perspective and the relevant General Lighthouse Authority may also be involved. However, there is no specific provision that is part of the legal process for giving consent. Therefore, if the Transport and Works Act is used, the important safety issues involved may not be taken into account and, indeed, are effectively avoided.

The absence of a statutory requirement in the TWA route is a serious weakness in the legislative machinery. Many of the possible sites may be in territorial waters. We therefore believe that it is important that future applications should be made under the Coast Protection Act rather than under the Transport and Works Act. The purpose of this amendment is to ensure that that is the case. In our view it is obviously wrong that it should be possible not to take into account fully the aspects that involve the safety of navigation. I beg to move.

9.15 p.m.

Lord Greenway

My Lords, I should like to support the amendment. I invited the Minister to respond to the matter on Report and he wisely declined that offer. The noble Lord, Lord Higgins, made an important point. There is no doubt that the Transport and Works Act is not subject to the same checks and balances as the Coast Protection Act in this regard. There is a definite lacuna in respect of there being no requirement to address the problems of offshore wind farms causing a hazard to navigation and therefore affecting safety. I very much support the amendment.

Lord Davies of Oldham

My Lords, I wish to give assurances to both noble Lords who have contributed to this short debate, but I also want to express a very powerful argument regarding why we cannot under any circumstances accept the amendment.

I begin with the assurances. The noble Lord, Lord Greenway, drew attention to the fact that I did not fully respond to these issues on a previous occasion. They are technical and I am not sure that I was fully equipped on that occasion to respond to the matter that he addressed. I am rather better equipped to do so today but nevertheless I am inevitably stuck with having to at least attempt to match the technical expertise that the noble Lord, Lord Higgins, has shown.

I believe that a misunderstanding of how navigational safety matters are taken into account under this legislation underpins the amendment. The DTI seeks the views of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency on all applications for a Transport and Works Act order that are made to the Secretary of State. The MCA has been consulted on all the offshore wind farm projects for which TWA orders have been granted so far. The MCA has not maintained an objection to any of those projects. Where the MCA gives its approval subject to certain conditions, such conditions would be taken into account in the TWA order and would be legally binding on the developer and enforceable in the same way as other provisions of the order. I can therefore give the categorical assurance that maritime safety is treated equally seriously whether the developer of an offshore wind farm seeks a TWA order or consent under the Electricity Act and Coast Protection Act. The same degree of concern about the maritime environment applies.

There is a further reason why the amendment would not be acceptable to us.

Lord Higgins

My Lords, my understanding is that the MCA involvement is not legally part of the consent regime under the TWA. The Minister seems to be contradicting that. One or other of us has been wrongly advised. Is he absolutely sure of what he says—that the MCA has the legal right to exercise a veto?

Lord Davies of Oldham

My Lords, I have indicated that the MCA has played its part on all approvals, and that the conditions that it imposes would then be taken into account. They would be legally binding on the developer and enforceable in the same way as the provisions of the order. I am in some difficulty if the noble Lord contends that his understanding of the law is different from mine. I cite it as accurately as I can; I warned the House that we were entering the deep waters of technicality on the amendment.

Let me put the other point to the noble Lord. I am sure that he will take it as seriously as I do, although I might have rather more atavistic reasons for doing so. His amendment would disapply the TWA and, as he will probably recall from an earlier debate, leave the Welsh Assembly Government in a very difficult position. The Assembly Government do not have powers under Section 36 of the Electricity Act, but are responsible for TWA orders for offshore wind farms in Welsh territorial waters. If we disapplied the TWA, as the amendment suggests, the Welsh Assembly Government would have no role in the consent process for offshore wind farms.

I am sure that the noble Lord would not want that to be thrust on the good people of Wales, who have legitimate concerns about the issues as well. At present, the TWA is their only power of defence on the matter. For that reason, I hope that he will accept my assurance on the need to withdraw the amendment.

Lord Higgins

My Lords, can Wales not use the Coast Protection Act 1949?

Lord Davies of Oldham

My Lords, as I understand the position, that is not as effective as the TWA. The TWA is the most effective measure, and the one that Wales has used to safeguard its interests. We have been discussing the TWA in relation to the operation of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency in consultations on all matters that have taken place thus far on wind farm proposals.

I recognise the difficulty that the noble Lord and I have if we are not totally agreed on the law at present. Obviously, I can stand only on the basis of the expertise available to the Government, and the practice that we have followed in phase one of the consents applied. The amendment would certainly leave our Welsh colleagues in real difficulty with regard to control of the situation.

Lord Higgins

My Lords, as has been said—if the House will forgive the analogy—we are in pretty deep waters. My understanding is that the Scottish position is protected. There is alternative legislation in the form of the Private Legislation Procedure (Scotland) Act 1936 and the Robin Rigg Offshore Wind Farm (Navigation and Fishing) (Scotland) Act 2003. I am deficient in advice on the situation in Wales. While I would not regard that as an overwhelming problem, as it could be put right, if necessary, on Report, we are left with a situation where we appear to have conflicting legal views on the issue. On these occasions I look hopefully in the direction of the Box—although I am not sure that I should talk about the people in it as they do not exist in terms of the House.

Lord Davies of Oldham

My Lords, it might just be possible for once, that the Box has complete confidence in the Minister.

Lord Higgins

My Lords, I do not even have a box. The Minister has been forthcoming all evening. My initial inclination was to press the amendment to a Division, but that would be difficult when there are conflicting views. We need to be clear, with the good will of the Minister, that if, by chance, he turns out to be wrong and I am right, then it is vital that this matter is raised in another place, the situation clearly explained and the matter resolved.

Obviously, we do not wish to have consents given without the legal position being clear with regard to essential navigational safety considerations or the risk of environmental disaster not being fully taken into account. I hope that all future applications are made in the manner that I have advocated, rather than a roundabout route that presents problems. So, relying on the Minister's good faith that this matter will be clarified—and, no doubt, he will write to us in detail— I shall not press the amendment, although I am tempted to do so. I beg leave to withdraw it.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 95 [Safety zones around renewable energy installations]:

Lord Davies of Oldham moved Amendment No. 14: Page 73, line 35, leave out "(b)" and insert "a safety zone

The noble Lord said: My Lords, in moving Amendment No. 14, I shall also speak to Amendment No. 51. They are drafting amendments relating to safety zones. They do not alter the meaning of the provisions but merely serve to make the text clearer. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 106 [Interpretation of Chapter 1 of Part 3]:

Lord Whitty moved Amendment No. 15: Page 82, line 26, leave out "a renewable energy" and insert "an

The noble Lord said: My Lords, this amendment and Amendment No. 16, are technical and set out the definitions of the various clauses. They amend the references to simplify the drafting of the Bill. I beg to move.

Baroness Miller of Hendon

My Lords, I agree that these are simple changes, but can the Minister assure us that an installation will, for the purposes of the Bill, cover renewable energy installations as well as other energy installations? If he could do so, I would welcome the amendments.

Lord Whitty

My Lords, yes. The references are contained within the provisions, where the terms "construction" and "decommission" are also used. So, it is not necessary to double-up on the definitions.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Lord Davies of Oldham moved Amendment No. 16: Page 82, line 35, leave out "a renewable energy" and insert "an

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Baroness Miller of Hendon moved Amendment No. 17: After Clause 121, insert the following new clause—