§ Mr. Hicks
asked the Secretary of State for Energy what financial resources are currently allocated for nuclear power research and development; what is the equivalent figure allocated for alternative sources of energy, other than coal and oil; and if he will list those alternative projects now being investigated.359W
§ Mr. Moore
The Atomic Energy Authority expects to spend about £140 million on nuclear power research and development in 1979–80, including £16 million on fusion. The amounts so far allocated by the Department of Energy to specific programmes of research and development into alternative sources of energy are as follows:
£m Wave power 5.4 Solar energy 6.0 Geothermal 1.77 Wind power 0.97 Tidal power 1.59
In addition the United Kingdom is participating in EEC programmes on solar energy and geothermal research and development. The limitation to making faster progress on the alternative sources of energy is not the level of funding but the state of the technology involved.
§ Mr. Moore
Research and development is at present being conducted to assess the technical and economic feasibility of possible sources of alternative energy. The amounts so far allocated to specific programmes on solar, wind and wave research and development are as follows:
£m Solar energy 6.0 Wind power 0.97 Wave power 5.4
In addition, the United Kingdom is participating in the EEC programme on solar energy research and development. I am satisfied that the limitation to making faster progress on these possible alternative sources of future energy supply is not the level of funding but the state of the technology involved.