HC Deb 29 April 2002 vol 384 c549W
Mr. Carmichael

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans the Government have to utilise biomass fuelled CHP technology on the Government Estate; and when these plans will be implemented. [51964]

Mr. Meacher

All Government Departments have a target to ensure that by 31 March 2003, at least 5 per cent. of their electricity comes from renewable sources, or from self-generation, provided this does not entail excessive cost. They also have a longer-term target for at least 10 per cent. of their supply by 31 March 2008, which is subject to review after March 2003.

Biomass is just one of the renewable technologies that can help Departments meet this target. I am not aware of any current plans to utilise biomass production technology on any significant scale on the Government Estate, and it is for each Department to determine the extent to which self-generation is a practicable and cost-effective option.

However, DEFRA, PIU and the National Lottery are funding research and development into energy crops and biomass as fuel for CHP schemes, and I will encourage Government Departments to examine the scope which such technology may in future offer.