Skip to main content

Low-carbon Energy Products

Volume 520: debated on Thursday 16 December 2010

19. What steps he plans to take to encourage the establishment of community-led low-carbon energy projects. (30984)

Communities are where big society meets big energy, and the coalition intends to drive new community-led, low-carbon energy projects with strong financial incentives and better information and guidance. We have already acted to allow local authorities to sell the energy that they generate.

Speaking to representatives of the excellent Settle hydro scheme in my constituency, I was struck by the amount of red tape that they have had to deal with to get the project off the ground, and the legal action that they have had to deal with from environmental groups. Will my hon. Friend make it as easy as possible for community energy projects to get off the ground in the coming 12 months?

The Settle micro-hydro scheme is exactly the sort of scheme that we want to see more of and encourage, but my hon. Friend is absolutely right: we need to make it easier for communities to take the initiative. That is why we are making it easier to get through the planning system and providing more financial incentives; and we have also launched a website to give people the information they need.