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Wind Power

Volume 482: debated on Wednesday 5 November 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how much his Department and its predecessor spent on promoting commercial wind turbines in each of the last five years. (228677)

The question appears to relate to advertising and publicity in respect of commercial wind turbines. Neither this Department nor its predecessors have provided any direct financial support for advertising or publicity relating to large-scale commercial wind turbines.

The Government support small-scale installations through phases 1 and 2 of the Low Carbon Buildings Programme. Therefore, promotional activity through these programmes will have covered small-scale wind turbines.

We provide business development support for the UK renewable energy sector through UKTI (BERR) and DECC's Renewables Deployment Business Development team. This work is essentially aimed at maximising business opportunities for the sector, both domestically and overseas.

Public sector funding for low carbon technology innovation, including wind power is being delivered through the Carbon Trust, Research Councils, the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI), the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) and the Environmental Transformation Fund (ETF). These bodies do not use Government funding for publicising wind turbines. Government money may, however, be spent on publicising their activities in the field of renewable energy and this could therefore include wind turbines. Any such amounts would be negligible.

The renewables obligation (RO) is the Government's main mechanism for encouraging new renewable generating capacity. It is administered by Ofgem and places an obligation on licensed electricity suppliers to source a specific and annually increasing proportion of their sales from renewable sources. Generators receive one renewables obligation certificate (ROC) for each megawatt hour of eligible generation.

The Government's policy is that it is for the market to bring forward proposals for wind power developments which, with support from the RO, are financially viable.