Renewable Energy

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 8th December 2014.

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Photo of Simon Kirby Simon Kirby Conservative, Brighton, Kemptown

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment he has made of the capacity of his Departmental buildings for the micro-generation of renewable energy; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Steve Webb Steve Webb The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

DWP has outsourced the provision of its estate until 31st March 2018 under a 20-year PFI contract with its private sector partner Telereal Trillium.

Telereal Trillium’s technical experts have undertaken regular extensive reviews (both site based and desk-top studies) of the Department’s estate with a view to assessing the practical and financial viability of investing in micro-generation. These have included:

• solar photo-voltaic and wind turbine generation of electricity; and

• solar and bio-mass generation of heat.

Following this review 18 sites were identified for a site visit and more detailed examination by Telereal Trillium’s technical experts and potential suppliers. Detailed business cases were then developed for the biomass sites offering the quickest payback and with the potential to meet the Department’s investment criteria. Unfortunately, although these sites offered a practical means of generating renewable energy they did not meet the Department’s investment criteria and so have not been pursued. Solar photo-voltaic and wind turbine generation projects had even longer payback periods.

The Department also commissioned EDF to undertake independent surveys at five sites. These confirmed the results of the work undertaken by Telereal Trillium’s technical experts in that the break-even periods were too long to meet the Department’s investment criteria.

Telereal Trillium are continuing to assess whether reductions in costs and/or improvements in technology will improve the financial viability of micro-generation.

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