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Clean Energy

Volume 696: debated on Tuesday 25 May 2021

In December, the Government aim to deliver their biggest auction for renewables yet through the contracts for difference scheme. Our £240 million net zero hydrogen fund and forthcoming hydrogen business model will enable us to deliver our 5 GW low-carbon hydrogen production ambition to use across the economy. We have also announced the clean heat grant and the green heat network fund, and will launch the green gas support scheme later this year.

There is a short answer, or I could give my right hon. Friend a longer one. Brilliant. [Laughter.]

Does my hon. Friend agree that one of the many natural advantages we are blessed with is the tide around the shores of the United Kingdom, and will she bring forward at the earliest opportunity the Government’s proposals to unleash tidal power?

Let me first pay tribute to my hon. Friend’s work as a net zero business champion for COP26; he is doing an extraordinary amount of work, and has been tireless in his efforts to support the country’s business community to showcase its extraordinary leadership in tackling climate change and heading to net zero.

Tidal generation does indeed have a potentially important role in the long-term decarbonisation of the UK. Projects will need to demonstrate value for money to compete with other renewables over the long term. The Secretary of State and I are very keen to hear from those who want to progress such projects.

In terms of increasing the production of renewable energy, does the Minister feel rather embarrassed about the deep neglect that there has been of the development of deep geothermal energy in the UK over recent years? Is she aware of a report published on 19 May suggesting a new future for deep geothermal energy, and particularly a mechanism for supporting deep geothermal through a successor to the renewable heat incentive? Does she intend to respond positively to that report and its proposals, and will she acknowledge that deep geothermal is indeed one of the cleanest and most efficient renewable energy sources that we can have in the UK?

I have not had a chance to look at the report, but I absolutely commit to doing so. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has been doing a lot of work with local communities where there are geothermal projects, and we will continue to look at them and see how we can help to support them. It will be, as ever, one of those ongoing areas of policy; in the long term, we want to use all the renewable resources available to us as a country to ensure that we maximise their use, while, as I said earlier, ensuring that they also provide value for money for the taxpayer.