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Petrol Alternatives

Volume 478: debated on Monday 23 June 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what steps his Department is taking to develop viable alternative fuels; and if he will make a statement. (210756)

[holding answer 16 June 2008]: The UK needs a diverse mix of low-carbon energy sources to contribute to our energy and climate change goals. The Energy White Paper set out the Government's policy to tackling our key challenges and the guiding principle of market access to all the options available so we can have a diverse and increasingly low carbon energy mix, enabling us to respond to the rapidly changing challenges we will face in the future.

The challenge of moving towards a lower carbon economy requires us to develop a portfolio of low carbon energy technologies such as carbon abatement technologies, hydrogen and fuel cells, nuclear power and renewables. On 19 November 2007, the Prime Minister announced the launch of the Government competition for a full scale demonstration of carbon, capture and storage technologies on a coal fired power plant and on 10 January my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State invited companies to bring forward proposals to build new nuclear power stations. In the summer the Government will launch a consultation on what more we should do to increase renewable energy use to meet our share of the EU 2020 renewables target.

Public sector funding for low carbon technology innovation is being delivered through the Research Councils, the Technology Strategy Board, Energy Technologies Institute and the Environmental Transformation Fund. These bodies work closely together to ensure that funding activities are complementary and together effectively supports a portfolio of technologies.