Thursday, May 31, 2007

Consultation on renewable energy technologies

The Commons Select Committee on Science and Technology - a cross-party bunch containing some usually reasonable MPs - is conducting an inquiry into renewable energy generation technologies.

The Committee invites evidence on the following points:

• The current state of UK research and development in, and the deployment of, renewable energy-generation technologies including: offshore wind; photovoltaics; hydrogen and fuel cell technologies; wave; tidal; bioenergy; ground source heat pumps: and intelligent grid management and energy storage.

• The feasibility, costs, timescales and progress in commercialising renewable technologies as well as their reliability and associated carbon footprints.

• The UK Government’s role in funding research and development for renewable energy-generation technologies and providing incentives for technology transfer and industrial research and development.

• Other possible technologies for renewable energy-generation.

The Low Carbon Kid comments that give the government's record on supporting renewable energy companies at the SME level, his first comment would be to up the subsidies and not create funding breaks that result in companies going to the wall or laying staff off because of the delays in getting funding.

Just such a point has been made by many including Jeremy Leggett of Solar Century, in relation to the Low Carbon Building Programme.

Leggett also said the other day at Hay that senior civil servants - at DTI and Treasury - are the ones who constitute the biggest block in government against renewables, especially at the small end. Hence the lack of a feed-in law, which has given the German renewables industry such a boost. He was told by them when he was on a government renewables advisory committee not even to float the idea of a feed-in law as it would be sunk straight away.

Deadline: Monday 2 July 2007.

Evidence should be submitted in Word format (version no later than word 2002), via e-mail to . The body of the e-mail must include a contact name, telephone number and postal address. The e-mail should also make clear who the submission is from.

Submissions should be as brief as possible, and no more than 3,000 words. Paragraphs should be numbered, and the document should include a brief executive summary. Evidence should be original, not previously published. Further guidance: here

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