Biomass Power Generation — [Mrs Anne Main in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 3:37 pm on 20th March 2013.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Tom Greatrex Tom Greatrex Shadow Minister (Energy) 3:37 pm, 20th March 2013

Indeed, and I was about to quote from its figures. The hon. Gentleman is right and he makes the point about the different interpretations. In debates about different aspects of energy policy, sometimes differences of view are over-interpreted and elaborated on by people with an ideological objection, which is regrettable. In this case, if we go into the detail of the different sets of data, to establish exactly what the impact is, it would be good for the industry and good for the energy supply going forward.

The last time we discussed this, in a Committee, I asked the Minister some questions. He gave a commitment, but he did not answer other questions precisely or completely, so I would like to give him the chance to do so, because there is a slightly different audience this afternoon. When he met the all-party group, he agreed to write to generators requesting information on their biomass sourcing intentions for the next five years. I want to press him again on whether the correspondence has begun and whether the information is back from the generators. They are important data, particularly, as he knows, in relation to the differentiation between imported and indigenous supply, which brings us back to the points the hon. Member for Hexham made about the industry.

The Minister said that he will look again at the option of differentiating support for imported and indigenous products. Will he come back to that point? He also said that he would establish a working group with the wood panel industry and that the letters would go out before the end of the month. We are not quite, but almost at the end of the month, and he made the commitment at the beginning of the month. Has he been able to do it yet?