asked the Secretary of State for Energy what is his latest estimate of the proportion of total United Kingdom energy needs which could be met by renewable resources, including solar, geothermal and wind and wave power, in five years' time.
My Department's aims are to encourage the uptake of commercially attractive renewable technologies and to increase understanding of those that are promising but uncertain. We expect only a small input from renewables by 1990, but, in the longer term, this should grow significantly.
Although I appreciate that only a relatively small proportion of Britain's energy needs can be met by renewable resources, does my right hon. Friend agree that they could form a significant proportion of the energy needed in certain localities? Will he bear that local consideration in mind when assessing the need for research, development and encouragement?
Yes, Sir. That is one reason why a lot of money is being spent on electricity production from wind, as it is specially applicable in some remoter communities. We are watching with interest the progress of the Orkney experiment and the considerable amount of money that we put into it.