Energy Bill [HL]

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 7:15 pm on 29th March 2004.

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Photo of Lord Whitty Lord Whitty Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) (Food, Farming and Sustainable Energy) 7:15 pm, 29th March 2004

My Lords, the noble Baroness is correct. Slightly against my advice, the House passed an amendment requiring us to report on a number of matters including microgeneration. Therefore, in a sense the first part of the amendment is already on the face of the Bill as it will leave this House.

The second part deals with setting a target for microgeneration and a strategy for ensuring that targets are met. I am strongly in favour of the technologies of microgeneration of all kinds. They can contribute towards achieving targets for renewables and CHP, and the overall target for cutting CO2 emissions. That is why we have done a number of different things; I shall not go over all of them again.

That is why we allowed the contribution of CHP to be reflected in talking about annual output and annual export declarations. We have established the Distributed Generation Co-ordination Group, included research for microgeneration and micro-CHP, and so forth. The Chancellor referred to micro-CHP and a possible VAT reduction, which is subject to effective validation. Therefore, one can see that there is a whole range of support.

If, in addition to the broader objectives to which microgeneration will make a contribution, we want to impose a separate strategy, that will probably confuse the issue too far. We have a strategy for CHP to which micro-CHP will contribute. We have a strategy for carbon reduction more generally. I do not see the need for a "micro-strategy" to be set up as an alternative or separate strand. However, microgeneration—embedded generation of all sorts—will make a major contribution to the achievement of all our targets. But I cannot accept the second part of the amendment.