Ed Miliband – Question 9
Technologies including solar power, in the new CIS tower in Manchester, for example; geothermal, such as the proposed Eden project scheme; wave power, being developed in the UK; and anaerobic digestion, which can process farm waste and provide fertiliser at the same time, can play a substantial part in securing delivery of renewable energy. Because wind turbines are so visible, are they in danger of overshadowing investment in these other less visible renewable energy sources? How can you ensure other forms of renewables aren’t deprived of investment and research?
Wind farms certainly attract more debate! But behind the headlines we are also encouraging support for other technologies. For example, energy companies have to get a set proportion of power from renewable sources, and since April they have got double credits for wave and tidal power.
Talking to people around the country, including in research organisations and companies, I do think other technologies are receiving attention. My colleague, Environment Secretary Hilary Benn, announced £10 million earlier this year for an Anaerobic Digestion Demonstration Programme, which has huge potential.
New technologies like this show we can tackle climate change, and we can create a low-carbon Britain. There will have to be changes, but the prize – from preventing floods in our towns to widespread disruption in our countryside – will be worth the effort.