New Clause 4 — Tariffs for renewable energy
Orders of the Day
Malcolm Wicks (Minister of State (Energy), Department for Business, Enterprise & Regulatory Reform; Croydon North, Labour)
As we saw in the case of micro-hydro, there is always the issue of where one draws the line, yes? [Hon. Members: "Yes!"] I am happy to draw the line under the positive arguments that I am putting forward. [Laughter.] It is nice to amuse the latecomers. As I have said, I recognise that there is a financial gap in the renewable energy strategy, and that there is a need for a new financial incentive. We will look properly at feed-in tariffs—I said that weeks ago; I am not just saying it today—and at other mechanisms for householders and community schemes. I understand the importance of what my hon. Friend says, because renewables should not solely be about big corporations doing things to local communities. We should enable communities to do things for themselves as part of the active citizen agenda.
I hope that hon. Members are reassured that we are taking the issues seriously. After the renewable energy strategy, we will bring forward appropriate proposals—including proposals for legislation, if necessary—as soon as possible. I ask my hon. Friend the Member for Nottingham, South to consider withdrawing new clause 4 in light of my comments.