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Private Sector: Renewable Energy

Volume 477: debated on Thursday 19 June 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what recent steps the Government has taken to encourage private businesses to use energy from renewable sources. (210392)

The Renewables Obligation (RO) is the Government’s main mechanism for encouraging new renewable electricity generation with all eligible renewable electricity generation installations able to receive Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROCs). We have announced that under proposed reforms to the RO, microgenerators will be able to claim two ROCs for every one MWh of renewable electricity generated. The Government intend to introduce these changes from 1 April 2009, thus doubling the support they receive through the RO to the highest level available.

Under the Low Carbon Buildings Programme (LCBP), with an £86 million budget, around £30 million has been allocated to 6,300 projects, including £6.5 million to 154 projects in the private sector. Although all funding streams for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) have now closed to new applicants, we are working closely with the Carbon Trust on a number of private sector projects to raise awareness of the potential for combining microgeneration with energy efficiency to develop low carbon buildings. Further details are available at:

www.lowcarbonbuildings.org.uk

Advice is available from a number of sources, including the Carbon Trust who provides site surveys to organisations, including SMEs, looking to reduce their energy demand, save money and manage their carbon emissions more efficiently. Further details are available at:

www.carbontrust.co.uk/solutions/sme_toolkit.htm

Further assistance is available through Business Link at:

www.businesslink.gov.uk

and regional development agencies at:

www.englandsrdas.com.

The Renewable Energy Strategy consultation due in the summer will include considerations of the role that microgeneration and distributed energy will play going forward. This will consider a range of possible initiatives such as financial or regulatory instruments, voluntary guidance and providing better information to business and consumers.