Can Labour’s Ambitious Green Energy Agenda Become Reality By 2030?

1st July 2024, 1:40 pm

If Labour are successful in their bid for leadership on Thursday, what would the new Government mean for the energy industry? Laurence Lacey, a partner in the commercial property team at national law firm Clarke Willmott LLP, explores.
In their manifesto Labour pledge to deliver Clean Power by 2030 working with the private sector to double onshore wind, triple solar power, and quadruple offshore wind. They are looking to invest in carbon capture and storage, hydrogen and marine energy, and ensure the long-term energy storage our country needs. However, we know from experience that these projects face a wide range of challenges from creating viable heads of terms to negotiating site options and leases, alongside legal and technical due diligence and managing site assembly for these often complex, large-scale schemes, particularly those requiring rights across multiple land parcels. So, whilst the increased political support for these schemes is very welcome the delivery of this key manifesto pledge would be dependent on resolving a number of practical, technical and legal challenges.
There will be an increasing need for advice that enables the delivery of these projects with some key statutory and infrastructure related hurdles to overcome. The Labour party have pledged to reform the planning system which will be vital in enabling permissions for these large projects to be delivered to meet the 2030 target. Grid reinforcement will also be essential in ensuring that projects can secure early grid connection dates. All these elements require a thorough risk assessment, support and advice from your professional team.
On a recent onshore wind project Clarke Willmott worked on in Wales our client faced numerous legal and logistical challenges that illustrate some of these constraints. We helped conduct intricate negotiations with local authorities and landowners, secure multiple project consents and address community concerns relating to the visual and environmental impacts of the turbines.
Taking a collaborative approach and supported by its professional services team, our client secured the necessary approvals. This experience highlights the need to involve all stakeholders from the outset to streamline processes and ensure that all relevant constraints are identified early in the process so that they can be dealt with efficiently alongside all regulatory and legal requirements.
Looking ahead, the Labour government’s commitment to a green energy transition presents an unprecedented opportunity for the energy sector. However, realising this vision will require not only political will, but also significant investment in infrastructure, robust legal frameworks, and streamlined planning processes. Our team stands ready to support this transition by providing expert legal and advisory services to help navigate the complexities of large-scale energy projects.
As we move towards a cleaner, more sustainable future, it is crucial that all parties involved—government, private sector, and local communities—work together to overcome the challenges and seize opportunities.
For more information on how Clarke Willmott can assist with renewable energy projects, visit Specialist Renewable Energy Solicitors – Clarke Willmott or contact Laurence Lacey at [email protected]

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