New Clause 21 - Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions: report regarding dynamic demand technologies

Part of Climate Change and Sustainable Energy Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 4:15 pm ar 9 Chwefror 2006.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Malcolm Wicks Malcolm Wicks Minister for energy, Department of Trade and Industry 4:15, 9 Chwefror 2006

That was very energy efficient; I must learn from the hon. Gentleman.

As we have heard, new clause 21, which might be the last new clause that we consider today, will impose a duty on the Secretary of State to publish a report on the contribution that dynamic demand technologies could make to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Britain. The report will also address whether it is appropriate to take any steps to promote the use of those technologies and, if it is, what those steps might be.

We have been taught that dynamic demand technologies are technologies that enable the consumption or generation of electricity to be controlled or adjusted automatically according to network frequencies. I am advised that, in English, that means that these are clever pieces of kit that can adjust the demand of our appliances to help to balance the load on the grid. I have been given an example. If the technology senses through an assessment of the frequency levels that demand is growing, it will turn the fridge down, or so I am told. Another application could be that if the technology senses that a difficult item is coming up on the “Today” programme that might upset a sensitive Minister, the radio will automatically be switched off. [Laughter.] As one of   our distinguished political commentators said: I made that one up. It was so far-fetched, it must have been the one about the refrigerator.

The overall benefit of these technologies is that a smoothed demand pattern leads to a reduced need for back-up generation. It is claimed that that could save up to 0.6 million tonnes of carbon per year. The Government have done very little proactive work in this area to date—I do not understand why—although we have kept up to date with developments. It is clear   that these technologies deserve closer investigation, to establish whether they could make a significant contribution to reducing our carbon emissions.

I am happy to support new clause 21, and I look forward to the conclusions of the report that it requires.