§ 58. Mr. Jack Thompson
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what aid Her Majesty's Government are giving to assist developing countries in developing renewable energy sources.
§ Mrs. Chalker
In 1988 expenditure from the bilateral aid programme on the development of renewable energy sources was some £15 million. In addition renewable energy components such as solar and wind-powered pumps, solar-powered refrigerators, solar water distillation and solar water heating have been incorporated in projects which are not primarily energy focused.
§ Mr. Thompson
Will the Minister take into account the fact that in developing countries there is a temptation to use fossil fuels with all the associated environmental problems when crude methods of burning them are used? Can greater emphasis be put on the better use of fossil fuels and of renewable sources?
§ Mrs. Chalker
The hon. Gentleman is right: fossil fuels create problems not only of ash disposal but of what they emit into the atmosphere. That is why we are looking with each country at power efficiency, linked closely to the environmental concern to which the burning of fossil fuels can give rise. But we shall also continue our research with the intermediate technology development group to ensure that we have more effective equipment that can use the renewable sources of energy.
§ Mr. Tam Dalyell (Linlithgow)
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. In conjunction with my right hon. Friend——
§ Mr. Speaker
Order. I called the hon. Gentleman to move his application under Standing Order No. 20, not to raise a point of order.