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Sustainable Energy

Volume 410: debated on Friday 19 September 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps are being taken to promote sustainable energy. [131080]

I have been asked to reply.Sustainable forms of energy are at the heart of the Government's energy policy—as set out in this year's White Paper, "Our Energy Future: Creating a Low Carbon Economy". This encompasses renewable energy, cleaner coal technologies, and fuel cells.To take forward the commitments made in the White Paper, we have established the Sustainable Energy Policy Network (SEPN) of departmental policy units, regulators, Devolved Administrations and delivery organisations that are involved in delivering the White Paper's commitments. The network is overseen by a Ministerial Group chaired jointly by the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry and the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. The Ministerial Group will be provided with independent advice by the creation of a Sustainable Energy Policy Advisory Board (SEPAB), made up of senior independent experts.For renewable energy, we have already been working hard to create a comprehensive framework to meet our target that 10 per cent. of electricity should be sourced from renewables by 2010, and our aspiration that this should be doubled by 2020. Licensed electricity suppliers in England, Scotland and Wales are subject to the Renewables Obligation—requiring them to supply a specified and growing amount of their sales from electricity generated from a range of eligible renewable sources. The Obligation is backed up by a package of funding worth nearly £350 million. This is divided between: capital grants, which are available to help kickstart a range of new and emerging technologies, for example, offshore wind, wave and tidal power and solar photovoltaics; and the New & Renewable R&D programme.