Energy Security - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 7:57 pm on 5 December 2022.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Lord Naseby Lord Naseby Conservative 7:57, 5 December 2022

My Lords, I welcome my noble friend to the Front Bench again. This was a very important Statement, and I can think of no better man to handle this very challenging area faced by His Majesty’s Government. On the nuclear issue, can he reassure me that the small modular reactor programme from Rolls-Royce will not be side-lined? It seems to me a very exciting project—one that, to date, has gone well with the company, as I understand it, and with those who are working closely with it.

Secondly, as he knows, I have a genuine interest—it is nothing to declare—in what is termed in the Statement “nascent hydrogen”. I personally believe that we will see, quite possibly, a similar revolution to that which we saw when we moved from coal gas to North Sea oil. In this instance, it will be a mixture of gas from the North Sea and hydrogen. If that were to happen, that would be a major step for every household in the United Kingdom. Can I be reassured that that will not be forgotten, and that hydrogen is vitally important, not just for normal usage but for the air industry, in which I also have an interest, as my noble friend knows?

Finally, just on renewables, I did a little bit of research on offshore winds in the current situation. At this point in time, things are not going well. The primary problem appears to be that National Grid is unable to give a guarantee to connect to the main transmissions until 2030. Quite frankly, that is totally unacceptable for an industry that has done well, in which we have major investments. Somebody needs to shake it up somehow so that those on the offshore and the future investments know that they can speedily get connection to the grid.