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Energy: Renewables

Volume 705: debated on Wednesday 12 November 2008

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the Written Answer by Lord Jones of Birmingham on 14 July (WA 111), why the costs of domestic photovoltaic installations and domestic solar thermal panels are based on different reports. [HL5710]

As part of the work for the renewable energy consultation document (ref) BERR commissioned a number of research reports from independent consultants to inform its estimates of the cost and potential of renewable technologies.

It commissioned Nera consultants to model the cost of instruments to incentivise renewable heat (ref), and used data from a study by Element Energy to inform work on microgeneration (ref). This research has informed the analysis underlying the consultation document, and the Answer to the above PQ.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What is the total subsidy they have given for renewable energy from 1998 to 2007; and [HL5854]

How much the subsidy for renewable energy from 1998 to 2007 on average cost each household in the United Kingdom; and [HL5855]

What is the anticipated subsidy for renewable energy for the financial years 2008–09, 2009–10 and 2010–11. [HL5856]

The renewable obligation (RO) provides support to renewable electricity generators. Introduced in 2002, it is the Government's main mechanism for encouraging renewable electricity generation. It is not a direct subsidy but an obligation placed on electricity suppliers to source a specific and annually increasing percentage of the electricity sales from renewable sources. Generators are issued with 1 ROC for each MWh of generation which they can then sell to suppliers. Suppliers used the ROCs to demonstrate compliance with the obligation or pay a buyout price into a fund. Money from the buyout fund is recycled to suppliers who met their obligation from ROCs on a pro rata basis. The ROC price is therefore set by the market but a nominal value of the ROC to the supplier can be calculated by adding the buyout price to the recycled buyout fund attributable to each ROC. On this basis the level of support through the RO in the UK between 2002 and 2007 is set out below:

2002-03—£278 million;

2003-04—£416 million;

2004-05—£495 million;

2005-06—£583 million; and

2006-07—£719 million

The average cost for renewable energy through the renewable obligation on each household in the United Kingdom was £7.80 in 2005, £9.80 in 2006 and £11.90 in 2007.

The anticipated level of support through the renewable obligation for 2008-09 is £940 million, for 2009-10 is £960 million and for 2010-11 is £990 million.

The UK Environmental Transformation Fund, co-ordinated by DECC, brings together capital grant and other funding for low carbon and renewable energy technologies, with a specific focus on the demonstration and deployment phases of bringing low carbon technologies to market. It has a budget of £400 million during the period 2008-09 to 2010-11.

DIUS is stepping up efforts on energy research and development through a range of commitments from science and innovation budget investments through the research councils and the Technology Strategy Board and, more recently with the establishment of the Energy Technologies Institute in development of low carbon energy technologies and solutions.

Research council expenditure on energy related basic, strategic and applied research and postgraduate training is expected to approach £300 million during the period 2008-09 to 2010-11. The Technology Strategy Board’s current portfolio of projects in the energy innovation area amounts to a total grant value of £122 million and is expanding its portfolio in areas relating to the low carbon agenda through a range of initiatives including innovation platforms.

The regional development agencies, devolved Administrations and European Union also provide support for research into low carbon energy activities among other activities.