Lord McIntosh of Haringey (Deputy Chief Whip (House of Lords), HM Household; Labour)
Joined-up government requires that I should tell the Committee that what Chris Mullin, as a Minister in the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions, said yesterday in another place is endorsed by my remarks this evening on behalf of the Department of Trade and Industry. However, because I have not in fact read Chris Mullin's speech, I should prefer to be a little cautious here. I am sure that I will be able to confirm it, but it would be better if I gave that confirmation to the noble Lord, Lord Ezra, in writing rather than did so immediately.
The amendment would provide that the renewables powers under Clause 61 could be used to support combined heat and power as well as renewable generation. The Government fully understand the importance of the contribution that CHP can make--here I may well repeat what was said by Chris Mullin--to our environmental and energy efficiency objectives. We have made provision for it.
However, different approaches are required for CHP and renewables, reflecting their different market positions. CHP is not itself necessarily renewable. It is rather an established technology where what we need to ensure is that there is a level playing field in which it can compete. In the case of renewables, on the other hand, we are looking for the development of new technologies to deliver in the long term electricity which can be produced without damaging emissions of greenhouse gases. It is quite simply a matter of encouraging the new technologies which will protect the planet for our children. This is reflected in the structure for renewables provided for in Clauses 61 to 66.
As I have already described when speaking to Amendments Nos. 192 and 193, other parts of the Bill provide the right framework for CHP by removing barriers to embedded generation. There are additional measures in the Bill which will assist CHP. Fossil-derived CHP can by no stretch of the imagination be considered renewable but CHP which does use renewable sources may count towards the renewables obligation. Thus renewables in general may count towards our new energy efficiency targets under Clauses 69 and 98.
All this amounts to a major programme of focused measures to assist CHP. But I do not think that it would be helpful to regard CHP and renewables as somehow interchangeable and deserving of identical treatment. Both are important. However, as I have said, our objectives in the two areas, though related, are distinct. That is why I ask the noble Lord, Lord Ezra, not to press this amendment.