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Renewable Energy

Volume 456: debated on Thursday 1 February 2007

11. What recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry regarding support for the development in the UK of emerging technologies for offshore forms of renewable energy. (117821)

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State regularly meets the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry to discuss policies, such as support for offshore wind, marine and tidal renewable energy, where DTI and DEFRA both have a key role to play in their successful delivery.

While it takes an especially strong sea breeze to blow in Shepherd’s Bush, many of my constituents are rightly concerned about maximising renewable energy sources and minimising their fuel bills. What plans does my hon. Friend have to reform the renewables obligation and what effect is that likely to have on energy prices?

My hon. Friend is right to be concerned about energy bills. Reducing them through reduced consumption is a key element in achieving our target of cutting CO2 emissions by 60 per cent. by 2050. Renewable energy is another option, and some of the new developments of the south-east coast are very important. Renewable energy is a key part of the Government’s long-term plans for reducing CO2 emissions. We believe that the renewable obligation can reduce emissions substantially: we are currently consulting on how it should be banded and hope to be able to say more in the energy White Paper to be published shortly.