What estimate he has made of the proportion of electricity which is generated from energy-to-waste plants; and if he will make a statement.
Energy from waste plants can generate electricity from a wide range of different wastes. Overall, these contributed almost 8,600 GWh of electricity in 2009, equating to 2.3% of UK electricity generation.
We strongly support energy generation from waste. We are working with other Government Departments to ensure that, where possible, waste should be seen as a resource, although it remains the responsibility of local authorities and communities to decide on the best waste management arrangements in their areas.
I thank the Minister for that reply. What are the implications for local communities of having a cheaper and more sustainable source of electricity as well as being able to dispose of difficult waste such as food waste through anaerobic digestion?
My hon. Friend raises a critical issue. In the past, we simply have not had enough joined-up thinking on this matter. We are putting in place higher penalties for landfill to discourage people from using it, but at the same time we will be supporting a range of technologies, including anaerobic digestion, which can make a significant contribution to the problem.