Marine Renewables: Fiscal Support

Treasury – in the House of Commons on 24th March 2020.

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Photo of John Glen John Glen Minister of State (Treasury) (City), The Economic Secretary to the Treasury

The Government take seriously their climate change responsibilities, including the target of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. That means enabling a diverse range of low-carbon technologies, and we see the use of marine renewables in the future energy mix, though developers must demonstrate how those can compete with the low prices achieved by wind and solar technologies.

Photo of Alistair Carmichael Alistair Carmichael Liberal Democrat Chief Whip, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Exiting the European Union), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)

In order to compete with those technologies, these renewables have to get from the research and development stage to commercial deployment. The industry knows that and has come up with a mechanism known as the innovation power purchase agreement. Is there any reason why the Government are not engaging with that? I have to tell the Minister that these developers are not going to hang around in this country forever. If they cannot make that step here, they will go elsewhere and do it.

Photo of John Glen John Glen Minister of State (Treasury) (City), The Economic Secretary to the Treasury

I am very aware of the 1,700 people who work in this area in the right hon. Gentleman’s constituency and across Wales and Scotland. I am also aware that he wrote to the previous Exchequer Secretary, who moved post before he could get a reply. At the moment, renewables are five times more expensive than wind and solar, but the Government will engage in a dialogue with the industry as we look to resolve this and move forward constructively.