asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will make a statement on Government research programmes into alternative sources of energy.
I shall keep the House informed of developments in my Department's activities in this area. My Department is preparing a report on research and development, including work on new and renewable forms of energy, which will be published as soon as is practicable.
While I appreciate that exchanges have taken place on this matter on an earlier question, may I ask my hon. Friend confirm that, no matter how important is research into alternative sources of energy, such sources can fill only marginally the gap between the expected total supply and demand? Will he bear that in mind in considering also the importance of research into conventional energy forms?
I entirely agree with my hon. Friend. It is important to develop the renewable sources of energy that are available to us, but it is equally important that we are not deluded into thinking that that will in any way replace the need for new power stations, whether coal-fired or atomic.