Wind Power

Oral Answers to Questions — Energy – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 3rd June 1985.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Tim Yeo Tim Yeo , South Suffolk 12:00 am, 3rd June 1985

asked the Secretary of State for Energy what steps his Department has taken to promote the use of wind power for energy purposes.

Photo of Mr Alick Buchanan-Smith Mr Alick Buchanan-Smith , Kincardine and Deeside

My Department has spent over £13 million, since 1979, on research and development into the use of wind energy for electricity generation.

Photo of Tim Yeo Tim Yeo , South Suffolk

Can my right hon. Friend say whether the expenditure has revealed any useful applications for wind energy and, if so, whether such applications have any export potential?

Photo of Mr Alick Buchanan-Smith Mr Alick Buchanan-Smith , Kincardine and Deeside

Yes, it is one of our most promising areas in using a renewable energy source. The work done so far in the Orkney Islands has proved effective. In relation to the second medium-sized aero-generator that we have there, the firm concerned is already exploring the possibilities of selling its equipment overseas, so there are good opportunities.

Photo of Mr Michael Colvin Mr Michael Colvin , Romsey and Waterside

Is my right hon. Friend aware that there are firms in my constituency which are now well into wind power technology, both ashore and afloat, through wind-assist schemes for ships? Will he take the opportunity to pay credit to Gifford Technology, which is already exporting epoxy timber composite windmill blades to the United States of America, where it is said that one of the main incentives to people buying the new technology is the tax credit system which the Americans use, which might be a better form of encouragement to British firms to invest in wind power than the present encouragement given by our right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer?

Photo of Mr Alick Buchanan-Smith Mr Alick Buchanan-Smith , Kincardine and Deeside

A considerable number of firms are involved in the Orkney Islands development and in Carmarthen Bay, and the developments are of benefit to them. My hon. Friend's point relates to the responsibility of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, but I take note of what he said.