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Renewable Energy

Volume 450: debated on Friday 20 October 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what percentage of the UK’s electricity is produced from renewable energy sources. (95719)

In 2005 the amount of renewable generation from sources eligible under the renewables obligation was 4 per cent. and for all renewable sources the figure was 4.22 per cent.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how much Government spent on renewables in each of the last 20 years; and what estimate he has made of the level of private investment in renewables over the same period. (93785)

It would entail disproportionate cost to identify how much was spent by Government on research, grants and subsidies to promote renewable energy in each of the last 20 years. However, the Government are investing around £500 million between 2002 and 2008 in capital grants, research and development into renewables and other low carbon technologies. Money that has already been allocated includes: £117 million in capital grants for round 1 offshore wind farms; approximately £66 million for biomass capital grants; £31 million for Solar PV; around £19 million a year for industry-led R and D and over £50 million for Marine Renewables, £42 million of which has been earmarked to kick start the construction of large scale demonstration wave and tidal demonstration projects around the UK.

It should be added that the Chancellor announced in this year’s Budget a further £50 million, on top of the £30 million that I had previously announced, for the Low Carbon Building Programme, which supports microgeneration and energy efficiency measures.

A breakdown of the spend on renewables each year from 1990-91 is however available. I refer the hon. Member to my reply on 12 September 2005, Official Report, column 2262W to the hon. Member for Leominster (Bill Wiggin).

With regard to private investment in renewables over the 20 year period, the Government have made no estimate.