The UK government's Energy Bill received Royal Assent in July paving the way for more offshore wind and a UK wide Renewables Obligation. The new act of parliament provides the legal framework for developing offshore wind projects and other marine renewables outside Britain's 12 mile nautical limit. This will allow the wind industry access to better wind regimes and economies of scale further offshore. It also means that the three projects in the UK's second round of offshore development that are fully outside territorial waters will obtain the licences they need to develop their sites. In another boost for renewables, the new legislation allows renewable projects in Northern Ireland to trade renewables obligation certificates (ROCs) with the rest of the UK when its own Renewables Obligation comes into force in 2005. A key plank of the act is Britain-wide electricity trading and transmission arrangements (BETTA) which create a single wholesale electricity market for Britain. It also provides for a Nuclear Decommissioning Authority to be set up to manage the clean up of the UK's nuclear legacy.
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