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Mid-Atlantic Renewable Energy Initiative

Volume 485: debated on Tuesday 16 December 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change if he will make an assessment of the work of the Mid-Atlantic Renewable Energy Initiative and its potential to contribute to the targets for carbon dioxide emissions set by his Department; and if he will make a statement. (243804)

Department officials are aware of a number of proposals such as the Mid Atlantic Renewable Energy Initiative (MARE), to use solar and other renewable energy sources, coupled with high voltage DC power networks, to supply renewable electricity. Many of these projects are at a very early stage of development, and their likely scale and potential to contribute to reductions in carbon dioxide emissions cannot yet be reliably determined.

The UK supports Article 5(9) of the draft EU renewable energy directive, which allows renewable energy generated by new installations outside the EU to count towards the EU renewable energy targets if it is consumed within the EU. We also accept that the energy directive should incentivise deployment of renewable technologies outside the EU, as well as inside. Projects such as MARE may be a way of doing this, although issues such as the high cost of developing offshore platforms and long distance sub-sea connections would need to be addressed.