Lady Clark’s ruling on the Shetland’s Viking Wind Farm has quietly put a big question mark over many Section 36 applications. Using the Electricity Act 1989. Section 36 to circumvent Local Authorities Planning Committees may end up an own goal for many companies. Essentially the Energy Act includes the requirement that the operator either holds a licence to generate or a exempt person under the 1989 act. It turns out that many of the big players, such as Infinergy and RWE nPower Renewables, have not applied for the licence pre planning and therefore the application is not competent and some legal beagles suggest must be thrown out. The Scottish Ministers have appealed against Lady Clark’s judgement, both on the Birds directive and Licences, but until that is heard, possibly many months away, any applications deemed not competent may be put on hold. The story is here in the Scotsman but interestingly The Scottish Borders Council has called into question RWE nPower Renewables application for Rowantree Wind Farm. Letter here.2013-09-27 – SBC Letter to Simon Coote regarding Competency of Application _
The outlook for the SNP Government and their renewable aspirations seems a little rocky at the moment. However past experience has shown that the First Minister simply appoints a committee of his friends who find in his favour. Shades of a future Independent Scotland. Otherwise known as a third world Dictatorship?