§ Mr. Rost
asked the Secretary of State for Energy what research has been undertaken in the United Kingdom and the EEC into low energy consumption of ceramic materials.
§ Dr. John Cunningham,
pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 23rd November 1978; Vol. 958, c. 677], gave the following further information
The Government's energy audit and industrial energy thrift series of studies include detailed assessments of the energy consumption and total energy content of different ceramic and other materials. An energy audit report on the building brick industry, including several recommendations which are being pursued by the energy technology support unit at Harwell has already been published and has been placed in the Library. A total of 21 industrial sectors are being covered and other audit reports including one on the refractories industry are in preparation.
An industrial energy thrift report on the pottery industry will be published shortly and another on the bricks, fire-clay and refractory goods industry is expected in the New Year. Broadly similar, though less detailed, work is also being carried out by EEC member States, but we have no information on research contracts being placed by the European Commission, relating to the energy content of ceramic materials.
The Government energy conservation demonstration project scheme, details of which are given in the Department of Energy's paper No. 32, as published on 9th November, and the Department of Industry's research requirement boards and other sponsoring activities provide for financial assistance to encourage the development and adoption of new technologies in order to reduce the energy used in the manufacture of materials including ceramics and also the development of improved ceramics which reduce energy consumption where ceramics are used in energy intensive processes such as metal-melting furnaces.