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Renewable Energy Sector

Volume 711: debated on Tuesday 29 March 2022

As the hon. Lady will know, few countries have done as well as we have in respect of offshore wind. We are backing a range of other technologies through our strategy, and also through the 10-point plan.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has made clear how crucial it is for the UK to press on with the push to roll out renewables and strengthen its energy security. Almost three weeks ago, the Prime Minister said that an energy independence plan would be unveiled in the next few days and there was speculation about a renewed push for onshore wind, but that plan has been delayed again, apparently because the Chancellor is blocking it. Will the Secretary of State explain why the Chancellor is now deciding energy policy?

The hon. Lady will understand that, when such publications are issued, a range of cross-Government “write-rounds” is required. We are constantly talking to colleagues across Government, not just in the Treasury, so that we can land the energy strategy as quickly as possible.

Getting on top of energy issues, particularly those relating to renewable energy, is the most difficult challenge in rural areas such as mine. How will the Secretary of State’s strategy—to be launched soon—enable the renewable energy sector to grow from the grassroots up, so that people in fuel-poor homes, who may not have the money to buy the necessary equipment at the outset, have an opportunity to install solar panels and battery storage which will help them to deal with the rising cost of energy?

We have just cut VAT on many of those products. I have already visited my hon. Friend in his constituency, and I am happy to have further discussions about what more we can do to drive the take-up of these important technologies.