HC Deb 19 September 2002 vol 390 c189W
Mr. Greg Knight

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessments she is making of the electricity generation programme now in place at Mablethorpe, Lincolnshire; how long she expects such evaluation to take place; and what plans she has to encourage further air-powered generation. [72950]

Mr. Wilson

The department does not evaluate the performance of individual wind farms.

Accreditation of wind farms and other renewable energy generating stations for the Renewables Obligation is given by Ofgem.

Wind energy, along with other forms of renewable energy, stands to benefit substantially from the introduction of the Renewables Obligation from 1 April this year. This places an obligation on electricity suppliers to supply a specified proportion of their electricity from renewable sources. The level of the Obligation is set to rise each year reaching a target of 10 per cent. by 2010, by which time its value could be up to £1 billion per year. The Obligation has been set up for a 25 year period (2002–27), providing the right climate for expansion of wind energy and renewable energy generally.

Wind energy, along with other renewables, also benefits from exemption from the Climate Change Levy.

The Government has assigned £74 million over the next three year for capital grants for offshore wind energy projects, where initial capital costs are greater, and the technology is less well established, than is the case for onshore projects.

We are encouraging a positive approach to new renewable energy proposals, including new windfarm proposals, through regional renewable energy plans and targets.