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Geothermal Energy

Volume 555: debated on Thursday 13 December 2012

The coalition is supporting geothermal heat through the renewable heat incentive. Our September consultation proposed a higher tariff unique to geothermal. The coalition is also supporting geothermal power through the renewables obligation. We announced in July that geothermal would be paid at a rate of two renewables obligation certificates. Deep geothermal heat and power projects have also been supported by specific grant awards under the Department’s deep geothermal challenge fund and through the Government’s regional growth fund.

I am grateful to the Minister for his answer. This is an exciting opportunity for Cornwall, and the hon. Member for Truro and Falmouth (Sarah Newton) has convened meetings in this place to discuss it, which the Minister was gracious enough to attend. Given the potential for jobs in Cornwall, the potential to make a base-load contribution to energy, and the now-legendary willingness of the Minister of State, the hon. Member for South Holland and The Deepings (Mr Hayes) to meet, will the Minister agree to meet a delegation from Cornwall to discuss the potential of geothermal?

I pay tribute to my hon. Friend’s diligence in pursuing this issue, and to my hon. Friend the Member for Truro and Falmouth (Sarah Newton), because their efforts have really helped to promote this industry in their region. We are very keen to see progress in Cornwall, which we estimate has the best geology for deep geothermal power generation in the UK. I will be delighted to meet them both to see how we can advance this agenda.