Mark Francois MP: Renewable Energy



13th November 2008         AT/Renewable Energy/13.11.8

Dear Ms Yeadell,

Renewable Energy

Friends of the Earth have recently sent on to me the card you had completed regarding renewable energy. I too am concerned that the Government is not serious about its green agenda. I and my fellow Conservatives are committed to tackling climate change, and believe strongly that Britain needs dynamic industrial and domestic action in order to compete and win in the low carbon era. A central component of this is the issue of energy generation.

One especially promising concept is decentralised micro-generation, encompassing a wide variety of technologies. Our Green Paper on decentralised energy — Power to the People: the Decentralised Energy Revolution — sets out a way of changing the architecture of Britain’s energy supply. In essence, we want every small business, local school, hospital and household in the country to generate electricity, which can then be used at source or sold back to the national grid via feed-in tariffs.

Similarly, David Cameron recently announced that a Conservative Government would introduce an ‘Emissions Performance Standard’, requiring all new UK base-load generation to have emissions lower than those of a modern gas power plant. Coupled with this, we are pressing for ambitious carbon capture and storage (CCS) pilot projects, totalling some 1,800 MW of new capacity and laying the groundwork for a national CCS infrastructure, and thousands of ‘green collar’ jobs.

We also continue to press for the banding of the Renewables Obligation (RO), which will give additional support to hitherto nascent technologies like offshore wind and tidal. To date, the RO has ben heavily skewed towards onshore wind and methane. Whilst these both certainly have a role to play, they are not the only, or even the main, solution to our future energy needs.

It is my belief that a broad energy mix, created through a commitment to a number of different low-carbon technologies, will guarantee future security of supply, the transition to green economy, and page the way for the creation of new jobs in world-class, environmentally friendly, industries.

As we made clear during recent debates on both the Climate Change Bill and the Energy Bill, Conservatives believe that the UK should be a leader, not a follower in tackling climate change, and I can assure you that my Conservative colleagues and I will continue to hold the Government to account over this issue.

Yours sincerely

Mark Francois
Member of Parliament for Rayleigh

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