HC Deb 26 June 1995 vol 262 c566
38. Mr. Frank Cook

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the renewable energy projects, other than the Pergau dam, which have received funding from the Overseas Development aid programme. [28774]

Mr. Baldry

Since 1987, the ODA has directly funded 46 renewable energy projects. A list of those projects has been placed in the Library.

Mr. Cook

I am grateful to the Minister for that information, but with particular attention to the Pergau dam and the likes of that, will he acknowledge that such projects are costly, first, in terms of capital cost incurred and, secondly, in terms of the voltage drop that is incurred as power is transmitted over a wide network? Does he acknowledge that it is much better to use small-scale, renewable schemes that supply power directly at the point of need in any country, whether it be from wind, water or the sun?

Mr. Baldry

In other countries, as here, different energy needs will be met in different ways. There has never been any inherent criticism of the Pergau dam project or of its inherent worth. The criticism has involved the way in which it was funded. The hon. Gentleman must be careful about this. It is not for us to seek to impose on other countries solutions to their energy problems or to other problems that they face. That has a smack of latter-day imperialism. It is for such countries to come forward with what they think are their solutions to their problems and, where we can, we will assist and support. Often that will involve mini or micro hydrowater projects such as he suggests.