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Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy written question – answered on 19th March 2020.

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Photo of Richard Graham Richard Graham Conservative, Gloucester

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on support for renewable sources of energy.

Photo of Kwasi Kwarteng Kwasi Kwarteng The Minister of State, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

Ministers regularly discuss issues including renewable energy, including as part of the Government’s commitment to meeting net zero by 2050.

In 2019, the Government set a legally binding-target to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions from across the UK economy by 2050. We agree with the Committee on Climate Change’s view on the importance of a diverse mix of power generation sources to achieve that with renewables providing the majority of our electricity by 2050 alongside firm low carbon power from sources such as nuclear, and gas or biomass generation with carbon capture and storage. The Government has introduced many initiatives to increase the supply of renewable energy production in the UK.

We have committed up to £557m of annual support for future Contracts for Difference, providing developers with the confidence they need to invest in bringing forward new projects and we are supporting our world-leading offshore wind industry through the 2019 sector deal.

In order to support smaller scale renewable electricity generation, the Government introduced the Smart Export Guarantee on 1 January, which gives small scale low-carbon electricity generators, such as homes with solar panels, the right to be paid for the renewable electricity they export to the grid.

The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) supports the transition to low-carbon heating in the UK, helping generate renewable heat for schools, hospitals and more than 12,000 social housing properties. The scheme is designed to bridge the gap between the cost of fossil fuel heat sources and renewable heat alternatives through financial support for owners of participating installations. The RHI helps to sustain and build the supply-chains needed to deliver our aspirations for renewable heat in 2020 and beyond

Meeting our net zero target will require virtually all heat in buildings to be decarbonised, and heat in industry to be reduced to close to zero carbon emissions. This will involve large-scale transformation, including disruption to consumers and wide-ranging change to energy systems and markets: the way heating is supplied to over 28 million homes, businesses and industrial users will need to change.

We are working to develop a new policy framework for the long-term decarbonisation of heat. This will set out the programme of work required to enable key strategic decisions on how we achieve mass transition to low carbon heating.

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