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UK — Lord Stephen facing questions over wind farm ’empire’

Simon Johnson — The Telegraph — August 12, 2013

A Liberal Democrat peer was today facing questions over his support for wind farms in the House of Lords after it was reported he is a director of 10 renewable energy companies.

Lord Stephen of Lower Deeside has repeatedly spoken in favour of wind energy, warning ministers they must get behind the industry or risk £100 billion of investment, and tabled amendments to the Government’s Energy Bill.

His Lords speeches have started by referring to his register of interests, which states that he is the director of an Aberdeen-based company called Renewable Energy Ventures (REV) Ltd.

However, documents lodged with Companies House show there are actually nine firms in the REV network, seven of which have been incorporated within the past five months.

The former Scottish Deputy First Minister is also director of a company called Pilot Offshore Renewables, also formed in April, which is not mentioned in his register of interests.

House of Lords rules state that Members must be “especially cautious in deciding whether to speak or vote” in debates that relate to their private business interests.

The Scottish Daily Express today reported that the companies are worth more than £1.5 million and are developing plans for four wind farms north of the Border.

Details of Lord Stephen’s business interests emerged after allegations of sleaze against three peers in June after they were caught in an undercover sting by reporters posing as lobbyists for a fake energy firm. The trio denied all wrongdoing.

Graham Lang, of Scotland Against Spin, an anti-wind farm group, said: “Lord Stephen has had a career in politics paid for by the taxpayer and is continuing to attempt to hoover up consumer-paid subsidies with speculative and deeply unpopular wind farm proposals.”  Continue reading, here….

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