20 Feb 2009 05:02:08
Conservative proposals risk delaying energy projects
Key energy projects could be delayed if proposals made by the Conservative party are adopted, according to the Energy Networks Association (ENA).
The trade association for energy transmission and distributors criticised Tory proposals in a paper entitled Control Shift: Returning Power to Local Communities, though it welcomed the Conservative's support for the government's National Policy Statement process.
Under the Conservative proposals, the Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC), introduced by the Planning Act to accelerate permission for large infrastructure projects, would be abolished.
ENA chief executive David Smith said: "ENA is concerned about the Conservative proposal to abolish the Infrastructure Planning Commission. This could place in peril the ability of network companies to deliver essential energy infrastructure in good time.
"We continue to believe that the IPC is the most effective way of addressing the urgent need to build the energy networks that will secure our energy supplies and meet our climate change targets."
The Conservative's Green Paper claims that the solution to financial, social and political problems is to "decentralise power and responsibility".
When the IPC was announced there was a mixed response from environmentalists who on one hand cheered the fact that renewable projects such as wind farms would face less obstacles but on the other were worried that the same could apply to less environmentally-friendly projects.http://2009.energynetworks.org/