Will that announcement at least agree in principle that large quantities of energy can be saved by that method? Further, will it pay particular attention to the capital cost of laying hot mains, which is a point at issue?
Does my hon. Friend agree that it is disappointing that the Department of Energy forecast that heat saved from power stations by the year 2000 will be only 2½million tons coal equivalent, bearing in mind that the amount of heat loss from power stations is between 60 million and 70 million tons coal equivalent, and that the Marshall report states that 15 million tons could be saved by the year 2000?
I approach all forecasts to the year 2000, including our own, with a degree of humility. There is a major difference between recognising the totality of potential energy saving and that which can be saved economically. We should wait just a little longer for the final report.
As I said, there are many other considerations beyond the pure apparent saving in energy, such as technology and institutional planning. Those questions should be answered fully before we proceed in that direction.
I am glad that my hon. Friend drew attention to our experience. About 15 per cent. of privately generated industrial electricity usage comes essentially from CHP. The background of involvement in the industrial sector is substantial. All financial avenues must be examined when we get down to specific proposals.