asked the Secretary or State for Energy if he is aware that in Brazil motor cars are now being run on a mixture of petrol and alcohol; and what consideration he is giving to encouraging the use of alcohol in Great Britain as a means of conserving supplies of petroleum.
I am aware that agricultural alcohols have been used as motor fuel in Brazil for some fifty years and that this use is being extended. I am advised that the price and availability of raw materials rule out quantity production for this purpose in the United Kingdom. The technology of producing and using alcohols as motor fuel was the subject of Energy Paper No. 2 published by the Department in 1975. I have no plans at present to encourage the use for this purpose. The Government's view is that the encouragement of improved car maintenance and better driving habits by the motorist together with the development of more fuel-efficient vehicles will be major contributors to the conservation of petroleum in the transport sector in the United Kingdom.