Geothermal Power

Oral Answers to Questions — Energy – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 26th January 1987.

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Photo of Mr Patrick Thompson Mr Patrick Thompson , Norwich North 12:00 am, 26th January 1987

asked the Secretary of State for Energy what major projects his Department is sponsoring on geothermal power as an energy source; and if he will make a statement.

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

My Department is funding a further £6·85 million of research into geothermal energy to determine the cost-effective contribution that hot dry rocks could make in the United Kingdom. This includes a £5·85 million extension to the programme of reservoir investigations by the Camborne school of mines and a further £1 million on supporting studies.

Photo of Mr Patrick Thompson Mr Patrick Thompson , Norwich North

I thank my right hon. Friend for that renewed commitment by the Government to this alternative energy source. Does he agree that although we must continue to obtain energy from main fuels, including nuclear power, there should be an increasing commitment to alternative power sources, such as energy drawn from hot rocks beneath the earth's crust? Will he acknowledge that that is a good way of proceeding, and will he make further commitments in this direction?

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

My hon. Friend knows that the Department of Energy has made a major contribution in this instance and has invested about £20 million so far. The quality of the work that is being carried out is establishing the United Kingdom as a world leader in this technology. We are delighted to be able to support it and to see it continue.