HC Deb 26 April 2002 vol 384 cc509-10W
Mr. Carmichael

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans the Government have to utilise photovoltaic energy production technology on the Government Estate; and when these plans will be implemented. [51959]

Mr. Meacher

All Government departments have a target to ensure that by 31 March 2003, at least 5 per cent of their electricity comes from renewable sources, or from self-generation, provided this does not entail excessive cost. They also have a longer-term target for at least 10 per cent of their supply by 31 March 2008, which is subject to review after March 2003.

Photovoltaic energy is just one of the renewable technologies that can help departments meet this target. It will be for each to determine the extent to which self-generation is a practicable and cost-effective option.

I am not aware of any current plans to utilise photovoltaic energy production technology on any significant scale on the Government Estate, although a number of small-scale pilots are planned. There are, however, active and passive solar thermal systems in use in both this Department and Ministry of Defence and a number of other departments are considering their introduction.