Clause 8 - Microgeneration and access to green energy certificates

Part of Climate Change and Sustainable Energy Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 4:15 pm ar 25 Ionawr 2006.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Gregory Barker Gregory Barker Shadow Spokesperson (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) 4:15, 25 Ionawr 2006

Once again, I agree with the hon. Gentleman. Clearly there are concerns that Ofgem may not be paying suitable attention to the needs of microgenerators, and the new clause would deliver a statutory link between Ofgem and microgeneration, demonstrating a requirement that the regulator must have some regard for microgeneration. It is worth noting that even back in 2004, the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee noted:

“The changes introduced by Ofgem may ease the burden on distributed generators,”— that is, microgeneration—

“but fall far short of effecting any fundamental reorientation of a regulatory framework that penalises distributed generation. If the Government wish to encourage distributed renewable generation, they must therefore fundamentally review their strategy.”

Again, this is a small new clause that seeks to effect a huge revolution, and we really do need to address the problem of Ofgem and the straitjacket in which the electricity generators operate if we are to release the full potential of microgeneration. If we are to do that, energy regulation needs to be completely overhauled, and Ofgem could be transformed into a sustainable energy regulator with a primary duty to deliver substantial emissions reductions through the active encouragement of microgeneration. One cannot hope to achieve that through this relatively modest new clause, but I accept that that is the direction in which it is pointing. It is encouraging a lot more thought and work, and the Government need to make their input with a great deal more urgency if we are to make advances and get Ofgem fully engaged.

The new clause, by adding microgeneration to section 47 of the Electricity Act 1989, which gives Ofgem the powers to examine certain activities in the electricity sector, Parliament and parliamentarians are sending a clear message to the authority about the importance of microgeneration. I hope, however, that we will deal with the issue on a much larger scale in the future.