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Renewable Energy

Volume 488: debated on Tuesday 3 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment he has made of the effect of the economic recession on the renewable energy sector; and if he will make a statement. (258313)

The current global economic climate is one of a number of factors determining investment in renewable energy projects. The Government are working to create the right conditions for rapid deployment of renewable energy—both to meet challenging climate change goals and maintain energy security.

The global recession will affect availability and cost of capital to all firms, not just renewables. For the most part vertically integrated companies are well placed to manage their own capital requirements. Smaller companies may find it harder to raise capital but Government are providing a range of financial help in addition to the main financial support provided through the renewables obligation.

We also have a range of measures already in place to bring on more renewables development, including onshore and offshore wind, in order to meet our targets. Our Renewable Energy Strategy, due to be finalised in spring 2009, will build on these to provide an attractive framework for investment. Furthermore, the Secretary of State announced in the pre-Budget report that we would be extending the renewables obligation (RO) until 2037. This will ensure that investors can plan with confidence for the future so that over the next decade the market will continue to deliver the renewables projects that we need to achieve our 2020 target.

We take very seriously the concerns that some developers have raised regarding renewable energy developments in the current economic climate. We are maintaining a close dialogue with developers and stand ready to consider any evidence they bring to our attention.