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Renewable Energy

Volume 489: debated on Tuesday 10 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what steps the Government are taking to help British businesses develop renewable energy technologies. (254904)

The Government are supporting a wide range of measures to stimulate the development of a portfolio of energy technologies, including renewables such as wind; wave and tidal; microgeneration and photovoltaics; and bioenergy. Public sector spending on energy technology research, development and demonstration was around £151 million in 2007-08, of which some £81 million was spent on renewables.

The Government are also providing the market mechanisms and incentives to deploy these technologies. The Renewables Obligation (RO) currently provides all technologies with the same level of support. However, under reforms, to take effect—subject to parliamentary approval—on 1 April 2009, we are introducing measures to allow banding of the RO. This will provide the generation industry with greater incentive to develop and deploy those technologies which are currently further from commercial deployment.

We will also be introducing Feed-in-Tariffs (FITs) for small scale, low carbon electricity generation and a Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) using powers bought in through the Energy Act 2008 to provide financial assistance to organisations installing renewable and low carbon energy generating technologies.

In addition my Department will be launching an Office for Renewable Energy Deployment (ORED). The ORED will have a strong role to play in tackling renewables deployment barriers related to grid, planning and the supply chain and raising public awareness.

We consulted last summer on how to meet the UK share of the EU 2020 target. Our UK renewable energy strategy consultation sought views on what more we can all do to ensure that the UK maximises business benefits, including UK jobs. We will respond to the consultation responses in the renewable energy strategy in spring this year, detailing an action plan for promoting further renewable deployment throughout the UK.