Energy from Renewable Resources

House of Commons

Peter Luff (Mid-Worcestershire) (Con): I shall be exceptionally brief, and I thank the Minister for his indulgence. I have three quick points. First, will he clarify whether these will be binding national targets, as the Commission makes it clear that they will be? What will be the sanctions if they are breached, or if we fail to meet them? Can we predict what action the European Court of Justice is likely to take if we fail to meet those targets?

Secondly, may I press the Minister again on renewable heat? Paragraph 20 of the preamble talks about exempting those in households from

"guarantees of origin for heating or cooling".

In my view, the big gains available to the UK in terms of renewable energy come from renewable domestic heat. They cannot be measured for target purposes, which calls the targets into question, but the big gains in climate change and energy security and supply will come from such things as solar thermal power for water heating.

Thirdly, in his explanatory memorandum, on page 355 of the documents, the Minister stated:

"Achieving the level of ambition implied by the proposed UK target of 15 per cent. will require significant increases in the levels of electricity derived from renewable energy sources by 2020."

When he last came before the Select Committee that I chair, he gave some interesting figures for what he thinks the increases in electricity generation will be. Will he confirm that 35 or 40 per cent. will be required? I repeat the question that I put earlier to my hon. Friend the Member for Wealden (Charles Hendry): is this target achievable? Are we signing up to something that we know, in our heart of hearts, we cannot reach?

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