§ 12. Mr. Albu
asked the Minister of Fuel and Power whether he will set up a committee to inquire into the economic possibilities of combined electricity generation and district heating by the use of small power stations sited near large new housing estates or new towns.
§ The Minister of Fuel and Power (Mr. Aubrey Jones)
No, Sir. Progress in this field is not limited by lack of knowledge but by the high cost to the consumer even in areas where there is a concentrated demand for heat as well as electricity.
§ Mr. Albu
Is the Minister aware that the economics of separate electricity generation and district heating schemes are very different from those of combined schemes using back-pressure steam? Is he not aware that we are much behind other European countries in trying out schemes of this kind, which are extremely saving of fuel?
§ Mr. Jones
I am aware that the economics of this matter are rather complicated. The fact remains that, rightly or wrongly, we in this country have gone in for large power stations, with consequent low operating costs. That means, however, that if we attempt to distribute the heat, the consequent distributing costs are all the higher; and this increase is more than can be offset by the reduced operating costs at these large stations.