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Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy written question – answered on 19th July 2019.

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Photo of Seema Malhotra Seema Malhotra Labour/Co-operative, Feltham and Heston

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential for microgeneration of electricity and heat to contribute to the goals of (a) decarbonisation and (b) net zero emissions by 2050.

Photo of Chris Skidmore Chris Skidmore Vice-Chair, Conservative Party, Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Universities and Science) (Joint with the Department for Education)

The Government has supported the deployment over 6GW of small scale power generation, and we expect more to deploy now the Smart Export Guarantee has been announced. a) This contributes to the over 33% of power that comes from renewables and over 50% that comes from low carbon sources. Our low carbon power generation could need to increase four-fold by 2050. b) Decarbonising the power sector is crucial to achieving a net-zero economy – what’s more, small scale generation, as discussed in the Smart Systems and Flexibility plan is an important part of a more flexible and decentralised future system. (www.gov.uk/government/publications/upgrading-our-energy-system-smart-systems-and-flexibility-plan).

The generation of low carbon heat through technologies such as solar hot water, biomass, biomethane and heat pumps can all play an important role in decarbonising heat. These are all supported by the Renewable Heat Incentive. Through the Renewable Heat Incentive, the government is spending £2.8bn between 2018 and 2021 to incentivise the deployment of low carbon heating. (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/rhi-mechanism-for-budget-management-estimated-commitments)

The Government made an assessment on the evidence on options to decarbonise heat in “Clean Growth – Transforming Heating” published in December 2018 (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/heat-decarbonisation-overview-of-current-evidence-base). There is no clear consensus on the best approaches to decarbonising heat at scale. Given the diversity of heat demand, no one solution can provide the best option for everyone – a mix of technologies and customer options will need to be available. We need to continue exploring and testing different approaches to heat decarbonisation. The Government has committed to publishing a heat roadmap by summer 2020 which will set out further details on plans for decarbonising heat.

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