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Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme (Amendment) Regulations 2012

Volume 739: debated on Wednesday 25 July 2012

Motion to Approve

Moved By

That the draft regulations laid before the House on 11 June be approved.

Relevant documents: 3rd Report from the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments, 5th Report from the Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee, considered in Grand Committee on 23 July.

My Lords, there are six quite complex statutory instruments here and my noble friends Lady Worthington and Lord Grantchester spoke to them in Grand Committee. Questions have been raised on a number of complex issues and I know that the Minister is always unfailingly courteous in responding to questions. I would be grateful if he could undertake to write to noble Lords to address substantive questions that were not answered. I also thank him for his courtesy in arranging for his office to send me an e-mail at around 10 o’clock last night announcing that a Written Statement would be made today on the renewables obligations banding review, which is generally welcome but there are a number of questions. The noble Lord will know that he is very popular in this House—on our side as well—which makes it all the more surprising that he chose to make a Written Statement and not, given that he is at the Dispatch Box today anyway, an Oral Statement, which we would have welcomed. I hope this is not going to be part of a trail of sneaky Statements being released. We would welcome the opportunity to ask him questions on this at the Dispatch Box.

My Lords, I noticed that the last three of these statutory instruments start with the words “Green Deal”. I wonder if I am being overoptimistic in anticipating that the Minister of State for Trade and Investment will come along and speak to one of them.

Well, I wish the noble Lord a very good Summer Recess as well. We had an extensive debate in Committee; the noble Baroness sadly was not available to be part of it. It was very satisfactory and as always I have responded in writing to the questions which sometimes, and almost often, I cannot answer. The noble Baroness knows I am committed to that and the process is in train. As to the Statement today, good news, which I am glad noble Lords welcome, should always be given at every opportunity so that everybody can go away for a wonderful Summer Recess and enjoy themselves with that good news.

My Lords, in that convivial spirit, can my noble friend tell me when this House will have an opportunity to debate the absurdity of too many onshore wind farms?

I guess my noble friend should just table a Motion for that debate. There have been plenty of opportunities in the last Session to discuss this subject. I am always delighted to debate it, as are all of us who have been involved in the energy side of things, and I look forward to him tabling a Motion.

My Lords, I welcome the Minister’s Written Statement today about the ROCs. We need to get on with that. It is an excellent declaration. I congratulate him particularly on making sure that we have efficient onshore wind power but that it is still financially viable for investment.

I was hoping to catch a plane; I think people knew it. I am very grateful to my noble friend and for all the support he has given during the last Session on energy matters; it is a civil partnership and the word “civil” is underlined.

Motion agreed.