A new planning body for domestic and business energy projects has been launched.
The Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC) kicked off this week with 17 energy schemes worth a total of £50 billion in investment and a capability of generating electricity for 22 million homes.
Made up of eight different former planning organisations, the IPC aims to streamline the decision-making process for giving cheap energy projects the go-ahead.
The IPC will now begin to consider a number of renewable energy projects including RES New Ventures' biomass power plant at Blyth in Northumberland and npower's proposed Atlantic Array wind farm in the Bristol Channel.
Planning minister John Healey said that if the UK is to be competitive in the global economy, there needs to be a better system in place for planning and building the infrastructure the country needs.
"The IPC will be a faster and fairer system that is important for delivering these improvements," he said.
Mr Healey added that over the next 15 years, about a third of the UK's electricity generating capacity will need to be replaced to keep up with demand.
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