HC Deb 27 January 2000 vol 343 cc289-90W
Mr. Robathan

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) what assessment he has made of the potential long-term economic benefits of supporting renewable energy sources, with particular reference to photovoltaics, on the basis of the German model; [106782]

(2) what assessment he has made of the potential for photovoltaics in reducing carbon emissions in the United Kingdom on the basis of a support scheme for renewable energy similar to the German model. [106783]

Mrs. Liddell

I refer the hon. Gentleman to a recent assessment of the potential for renewable energy, including photovoltaics, commissioned by my Department. This has been reported in "New and Renewable Energy: Prospects in the UK for the 21st Century". "Supporting analysis, March 1999—ETSUR-122", a copy of which will be placed in the Library of the House shortly; this is also available on the Departmental website at www.dti.gov.uk/renew/condoc. This includes information on the potential for reducing carbon emissions and the economics of renewables.

We have not carried out any specified assessments looking at the German model, but the cost to the German taxpayer of the interest free loans being Offered in support of the 100,000 roofs programme is estimated at around £300 million for an installed capacity of 300 MW. Several German cities and utilities are also offering premium rates—up to 2DM (70p) a unit—to householders exporting electricity to the grid from PV systems. These extra costs are spread over the remaining majority of electricity consumers in those areas.