HC Deb 12 July 1999 vol 335 cc45-6W
Mr. Wigley

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what proposals he has to encourage the development of the generation of electricity from photovoltaic roofing tiles; and if he will make a statement. [89189]

Mr. Battle

Photovoltaic (PV) systems which may be incorporated into the fabric of buildings offer the prospect of clean and silent electricity production and are a form of renewable energy which is clearly suited to an urban environment. However there are a number of barriers to the deployment of PV, of which the most significant is the current high cost of the modules. My Department is working with the PV industry to reduce the barriers. In February I announced three new PV initiatives: a call for R&D proposals for components and systems; a field trial of 100 domestic PV systems and the design of a scheme to demonstrate PV on large commercial and industrial buildings. A total of 28 responses to the call for proposals have been received, of which 14 are related to building integrated PV. In addition there are two PV roofing product development projects currently underway with support from DTI. The domestic PV field trial scheme is currently under discussion with the industry. I hope to make an announcement regarding the third initiative later in the year.

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