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Solar Power

Volume 482: debated on Tuesday 4 November 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change whether solar photovoltaics will form part of the renewable energy strategy to be published in 2009; and if he will make a statement. (228369)

We have recently completed our consultation on the draft renewable energy strategy and will be considering responses to it carefully. Within the overall framework the Government put in place, the market will determine what technologies are deployed. We are certainly taking the potential role of solar photovoltaics into account.

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment his Department has made of the potential for future UK exports of integrated solar photovoltaics; and if he will make a statement. (228489)

The Department has committed over £41 million to support the photovoltaic industry since 2000 through the Major Demonstration PV programme and field trials. The photovoltaic industry currently benefits from the £86 million Low Carbon Buildings programme, along with other small scale technologies. Electricity generated from solar PV is also eligible for support under the renewables obligation (RO), which is the Government's main mechanism for encouraging new renewable electricity generation. Generators currently receive one renewable obligation certificate (ROC) for every lMWh of renewable electricity. Under reforms to the RO, we are proposing that solar PV receive two ROCs per MWh.

In addition, in developing the renewable energy strategy the Government have been looking again at financial support mechanisms for renewable electricity to ensure that these technologies can maximise generation at all scales. We recently announced the Government's view that a feed-in tariff for small-scale generation can play an important role alongside the renewables obligation for large-scale projects. We plan to bring an amendment to the Energy Bill to make this happen.

These measures should help the photovoltaic industry to continue to develop in the UK and to take decisions on international developments.