HOUSE OF COMMONS
LONDON SW1A 0AA
Our ref: RSE8241
11th March 2009
EDM 123- Concentrated Solar Power
Dear Mr Walker
Thank you for your recent correspondence about concentrated solar power and Early Day Motion 123.
Each square kilometre of North African desert receives solar energy equivalent to some 1.5 million barrels of oil every year. This is a truly enormous amount of renewable energy, which offers exciting possibilities for the future of energy generation.
My Conservative colleagues and I, led by Charles Hendry MP, Shadow Minister for Energy, have recently been in talks with Trans-Mediterranean Renewable Energy Cooperation UK, a group looking to harness this vast power. As a first step, we are hosting a conference here in Parliament bringing together a broad range of stakeholders, including consumers, interest groups, and business.
I am also sympathetic to the aim of creating a fully liberalised energy market across the European Union. Indeed, Conservatives have been calling on the European Commission to carry through its proposals in this area for some time.
There is no doubt that low-carbon and renewable technology is the future. It is time to rebuild our economy based not just on a housing boom or the financial services sector, but on real green industry. Our recently published Green Paper, entitled The Low Carbon Economy, sets out our plans to re-build the British economy on the back of new, high-tech green industries, intelligent energy generation and transport, and energy efficiency in our homes, schools and businesses.
We have, for instance, announced that an incoming Conservative Government would contribute towards the creation of a national carbon capture and storage infrastructure, allowing energy companies to plug in new carbon capture and storage power stations and making the UK a world leader in this developing new technology.
I am afraid, however, that I cannot sign EDM 123 at this time. The Motion calls for the abolition of subsidies on all non-renewable technologies, but I am in favour of Government contributing towards the cost of a carbon capture and storage infrastructure. Whilst carbon capture and storage is not technically renewable, it is a promising low-carbon energy source.
It is my belief that these policies will help cut carbon emissions, ensure the security of our energy supply for future generations, create thousands of new ‘green collar’ jobs, and show international leadership on climate policy.
Once again, thank you for taking the time to write to me.
James Duddridge MP