§ The Under-Secretary of State for Energy (Mr. John Moore)
The Department's expenditure on research and development programmes in renewable forms of energy is expected to be about £11 million this year, some 30 per cent. of the Chief Scientist's budget.
The Government as a whole are expected to spend some £55 million on R & D on non-nuclear technologies including oil, coal, conservation and the renewables. This is about 30 per cent. of the estimated total Government spend on energy technology R & D.
§ Mr. Moore
When considering whether more money should be spent, one should remember that the sum being spent has to be put in the context of the total spending on energy supply industries throughout the United Kingdom, which are some of the major investors in energy supply throughout the Community. Clearly, we expect to get our juste retour through the Community's new four-year alternative budget.
§ Mr. Eadie
The Minister must be aware that there is a great deal of public interest in alternative sources of energy. Is he prepared to tell the House the delays that his Department has estimated in the alternative research programmes—which are varied and many—as a consequence of a lack of funding? I think that the Government should tell us.
§ Mr. Moore
I reject any suggestion that there is delay caused by a lack of funding. The renewable energy research expenditure has until now been essentially pure research. There has been no delay caused by a lack of funds. Total expenditure, including that of the nationalised industries, on energy research and development this year in the United Kingdom will be about £374.6 million. Non-nuclear expenditure will be £159.4 million, or 43 per cent. of the total.