Energy NPS Series, Part 1: The Role of the NPS - Pager Power
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Energy NPS Series, Part 1: The Role of the NPS

Energy NPS Series, Part 1: The Role of the NPS
February 14, 2024 Michael Sutton

On the 17th of January 2024, the latest energy National Policy Statements (NPS) came into force in England and Wales. It comes more than two years after the initial drafts were published and follows extensive public consultation and parliamentary scrutiny that have shaped the statements over this time. 

In the first article in this NPS series, we take a look at the role of the NPS in providing a framework for developers of large energy infrastructure projects, and aiding decision makers when determining whether the proposals would be beneficial to the environment. 

What are the NPS?

The NPS are documents produced by the Government that present overarching policy and guidance surrounding the development of different types of Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIPs).

The five energy NPS that have recently come into force are:

EN-2 to EN-5 do not seek to repeat the material set out in EN-1, which applies to all applications covered by these NPS unless stated otherwise. All NPS should therefore be read in conjunction with EN-1.

The sixth energy NPS is the ‘National Policy Statement for nuclear power generation (EN-6)’. The 2011 version of this NPS is still in effect and the government is in the process of preparing a new one.

role of NPS

Figure 1: Energy generation and storage (created by Microsoft Copilot).

Why are They Needed?

A significant amount of infrastructure is needed at both local and national levels to produce the energy the UK needs and to ensure it can be delivered where it is needed. Major contributors to this are power plants, large renewable energy projects, new airports and airport expansions, and large road projects, which are all considered NSIPs.

NSIPs bypass normal local planning requirements and are instead decided by the relevant Secretary of State. When the Secretary of State makes a decision on a development of the type covered by the relevant NPS, they must do so on the basis that there is an urgent requirement for those types of infrastructure. 

The Government website [1] states that the guidance also makes it easier for decision makers, applicants and the wider public to understand:

  • Government policy on the need for NSIPs;
  • How applications for energy infrastructure will be assessed; and
  • The way in which impacts and mitigations will be judged.

The NPS therefore provide a framework upon which developers can robustly consider the potential environmental impacts of their developments and the Secretary of State can make a decision which weighs up the potential positives and negatives on the environment.

Pager Power

Pager Power has experience assisting developers of NSIPs from undertaking technical assessments through to providing expert evidence at hearings. 

If any of your NSIP or other projects are facing glint and glare, aviation safety, telecommunication, or shadow flicker constraints, please get in touch.




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