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Energy Generation

Energy and Climate Change – in the House of Commons at 9:30 am on 6th November 2014.

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Photo of Andrew Jones Andrew Jones Conservative, Harrogate and Knaresborough 9:30 am, 6th November 2014

What steps he is taking to promote investment in energy generation.

Photo of Matthew Hancock Matthew Hancock Minister of State (Department for Business, Innovation and Skills), Minister of State for Portsmouth, The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change

We are working through our long-term energy plan for a further £100 billion investment in energy infrastructure up to 2020. Since 2010, we have delivered £45 billion of that, with much more to come.

Photo of Andrew Jones Andrew Jones Conservative, Harrogate and Knaresborough

Could the Minister give a bit more information about how much investment there has been in the energy sector under this Government?

Photo of Matthew Hancock Matthew Hancock Minister of State (Department for Business, Innovation and Skills), Minister of State for Portsmouth, The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change

With that £45 billion, the investment per year is at least twice its previous rate, as is our investment in renewables. Renewables investment has been a large part of that overall investment, not least as a result of electricity market reform and the support for renewables under this Government. That means that 15% of electricity last year was generated from renewables, demonstrating that we are meeting our goal of being the greenest Government ever.

Photo of Philip Hollobone Philip Hollobone Conservative, Kettering

My constituents would be keen to see more electricity generated via solar panels, but they would prefer to see those solar panels on the acres of warehouse and factory roofing in and around Kettering, rather than on the acres of green, agricultural fields. There are currently three major planning applications in the pipeline for solar farms on agricultural land, but very few applications, if any, for solar panels on warehouse roofing. What can the Department do to encourage solar panels on industrial roofing?

Photo of Matthew Hancock Matthew Hancock Minister of State (Department for Business, Innovation and Skills), Minister of State for Portsmouth, The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change

My hon. Friend makes a very important point. We have changed the way in which feed-in tariffs work precisely to incentivise and support solar on roofs. Having said that, 1 million people now live under roofs that have solar panels on them. That is up from a very small number in 2010, which is a big step forward, and the Under-Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, my hon. Friend Amber Rudd is putting enormous personal effort into driving it even further.