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Alternative Energy Sources

Volume 932: debated on Monday 16 May 1977

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35.

asked the Minister of Overseas Development what percentage of the British aid programme is devoted to assisting developing countries in projects related to wind, wave, solar or geothermal energy.

There is no specific allocation for such projects. My Ministry is, however, very ready to help in these fields. We have undertaken geothermal exploration programmes in certain countries, and we have made a small beginning in research on wind and solar power.

I welcome the beginnings that have been made, but does my right hon. Friend agree that the oil crisis has hit a great many developing countries far more savagely than it has hit the Western world? Does she accept that it is of paramount importance for such countries to develop alternative energy policies if their economies are to take off?

I entirely agree. I hope to pursue this matter within my Department. We have a number of expert advisers who specialise in the relevant aspects. I hope to pursue this problem with them, in co-operation with the Secretary of State for Energy.