Renewable Energy

Oral Answers to Questions — Energy – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 24th July 1989.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Ian McCartney Ian McCartney , Makerfield 12:00 am, 24th July 1989

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what is his latest estimate of the potential for electricity generation from renewable sources in the north-west of England.

Photo of George Howarth George Howarth Shadow Spokesperson (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what further studies he expects to authorise on renewable electrical energy potential in the north-west of England or other regions.

Photo of Mr Dale Campbell-Savours Mr Dale Campbell-Savours , Workington

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will make a statement concerning renewable energy sources for electricity generation in the north-west of England.

Photo of Michael Spicer Michael Spicer Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Energy)

The recent report of the North-Western electricity board and the energy technology support unit estimates the potential for electricity generation from renewable energy sources in the NORWEB area to be equivalent to 400 MW of conventional base load plant at costs up to 3p per kWh, excluding connection costs. The board is currently considering the next steps.

Photo of Ian McCartney Ian McCartney , Makerfield

I welcome the NORWEB initiative and report. Is it not astonishing that after privatisation, by the year 2000, only 1 per cent. of capacity will come from renewables, yet the report shows that 10 to 12 per cent. of NORWEB's capacity could come from renewables? As methane gas has one of the worst effects on the greenhouse problem, should not the Department of Energy be promoting a nationwide programme for using rubbish tips and harnessing methane gas as an alternative to the nuclear industry, which is expected to produce 15 to 20 per cent. of electricity. We could then ensure that methane gas was used by NORWEB and other companies so as not to destroy the atmosphere.

Photo of Michael Spicer Michael Spicer Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Energy)

I do not know where the hon. Gentleman gets his figure of 1 per cent., but I can tell him that no Government have done as much as this one for renewable energy, not only in sponsoring research, but in providing for the non-fossil fuel obligation, which will give a special chance for renewable energy. Renewable energy has never been so protected as it will be in the future. I hope that the hon. Gentleman will welcome that.