Solar Systems

Oral Answers to Questions — Energy – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 9th May 1983.

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Photo of Mr Harry Greenway Mr Harry Greenway , Ealing North 12:00 am, 9th May 1983

asked the Secretary of State for Energy how much energy is now produced by solar systems: at what unit cost; what are the comparative figures for 1978 and 1973; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Mr Hamish Gray Mr Hamish Gray , Ross and Cromarty

My Department will be spending £1 ¼ million in the current year on solar energy. I regret that statistics in the form requested by my hon. Friend are not available.

Photo of Mr Harry Greenway Mr Harry Greenway , Ealing North

Having regard to the relentless rise in the cost of the production of energy from coal, oil and other sources, will my right hon. Friend take advantage of the sunshine that will follow a massive Conservative majority in the general election to commission more intensive research into the production of energy from solar systems?

Photo of Mr Hamish Gray Mr Hamish Gray , Ross and Cromarty

I confirm to my hon. Friend that we are concentrating our available research and development funds on the most promising of the renewable technologies for the United Kingdom, which are wind, geothermal and passive solar design. Among the solar systems, my Department is concentrating on the passive solar design, which is the most promising means of exploiting solar energy in the United Kingdom.

Photo of Mr Alexander Eadie Mr Alexander Eadie , Midlothian

If there were a breakthrough in the technology of heat pumps, what impact would that have on the Government's proposed solar energy programme?

Photo of Mr Hamish Gray Mr Hamish Gray , Ross and Cromarty

The Government's programme for alternative sources of energy is flexible, and, of course, were such a breakthrough to take place, the Government would take account of it.

Photo of Mr Kenneth Lewis Mr Kenneth Lewis , Rutland and Stamford

Will my right hon. Friend ask his right hon. Friend to use his clairvoyant powers to tell us what the solar system says about the likely result of the coming general election?

Photo of Mr Arthur Palmer Mr Arthur Palmer , Bristol North East

Will the Minister say how seriously in these matters the advice of the chief scientist to the Ministry is taken?

Photo of Mr Hamish Gray Mr Hamish Gray , Ross and Cromarty

The advice of the chief scientist is always taken seriously and carefully considered.