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Energy Generation

Volume 587: debated on Thursday 6 November 2014

We are working through our long-term energy plan for a further £100 billion investment in energy infrastructure up to 2020. Since 2010, we have delivered £45 billion of that, with much more to come.

Will the Minister give a bit more information about how much investment there has been in the energy sector under this Government?

With that £45 billion, the investment per year is at least twice its previous rate, as is our investment in renewables. Renewables investment has been a large part of that overall investment, not least as a result of electricity market reform and the support for renewables under this Government. That means that 15% of electricity last year was generated from renewables, demonstrating that we are meeting our goal of being the greenest Government ever.

My constituents would be keen to see more electricity generated via solar panels, but they would prefer to see those solar panels on the acres of warehouse and factory roofing in and around Kettering, rather than on the acres of green agricultural fields. There are currently three major planning applications in the pipeline for solar farms on agricultural land, but very few applications, if any, for solar panels on warehouse roofing. What can the Department do to encourage solar panels on industrial roofing?

My hon. Friend makes a very important point. We have changed the way in which feed-in tariffs work precisely to incentivise and support solar on roofs. Having said that, 1 million people now live under roofs that have solar panels on them. That is up from a very small number in 2010, which is a big step forward, and the Under-Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, my hon. Friend the Member for Hastings and Rye (Amber Rudd) is putting enormous personal effort into driving it even further.