HC Deb 09 February 1981 vol 998 c250W
Mr. Albert Roberts

asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will take steps to realign Government policy in order to give greater priority to coal over nuclear energy, in view of the high cost of the latter; and if he will provide inducements to industrial and domestic users to use coal instead of oil.

Mr. Norman Lamont

Both coal and nuclar power have crucial roles to play in meeting the United Kingdom's long-term energy requirements. The CEGB regards nuclear power as fully competitive. Fuel prices are already providing clear signals for movement away from oil use in the domestic and industrial sectors. Oil use in the domestic sector fell by over 20 per cent last year to a level of about 2.5 million tonnes. Use of oil by industry also fell by over 20 per cent., but with consumption still above 16 million tonnes per year there is both sizeable potential and incentive for the replacement of oil by coal in non-premium uses. I shall continue to monitor progress closely and keep under review the question of whether any further encouragement for coal use is needed.