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A number of hydro projects are currently in receipt of support through the feed-in tariff and renewables obligation schemes. As my hon. Friend will know, from 2020 small-scale hydro-electric projects will also be eligible for the smart export guarantee, which allows people to resell excess capacity to the grid.
My right hon. Friend will be aware of the failure of Solarplicity during the summer. Many renewable energy companies, including Stockport Hydro in my constituency, are significantly out of pocket. Will my right hon. Friend meet me to discuss the problem, and will he urge Ofgem to step in and cover the debts that are owed to Solarplicity?
I should be delighted to meet my hon. Friend to discuss the issue. Obviously I cannot commit Ofgem to bailing out companies or paying debts—that is not its function, as my hon. Friend should know—but I should be happy to meet him at any time that is convenient.
I welcome the support given to hydroelectricity generation at this time. Exciting new projects in marine energy need the same support. We would not have a successful offshore wind industry had not support been given to that for decades. Will the Minister follow the work of his predecessor on this and work with the Welsh Government to ensure that this happens around the UK coastline?
Absolutely. The hon. Gentleman raises an important point: the success with offshore wind did not come out of a clear blue sky. It evolved and depended on huge amounts of investment and development over many decades. So I am very happy to engage with the hon. Gentleman and the Welsh Government on this.