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Renewable Energy

Volume 407: debated on Monday 23 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what progress has been made in the development of renewable energy technologies, including CHP on brownfield sites. [119881]

I have been asked to reply.The Government set out their energy policy, including action to encourage renewable energy and CHP, in their Energy White Paper, "Our energy future—creating a low carbon economy", which we published in February.The land use planning system promotes the use of brownfield over greenfield sites whenever possible and appropriate, but makes no distinction as to the type of development which should take place. Decisions to proceed with renewable energy or CHP developments would be made on a commercial basis, and would be subject to the local planning process. Each case should be considered on its merits taking full account of the views of the local population and the various planning and environmental considerations.Developers wishing to develop in brownfield areas may be eligible to benefit from the framework of measures already in place to support renewables and CHP. Developers may, depending on the technology in question, apply for funding from our Renewable Energy R&D programme or from capital grants such as the Clear Skies Programme which is specifically targeted at smaller community-based schemes. Once operational, if the installation is using an eligible renewable source, their electrical output will be eligible for inclusion under the Renewables Obligation. The £50 million Community Energy capital grant programme is another incentive for development. This three-year programme aims to increase the development and installation of community heating schemes, mainly based on CHP, across the UK.