Lord Hunt (centre) is given a tour of Worcester's R&D laboratory.

Industry must incentivise renewables, says energy minister

Published:  22 January, 2010

LONDON: Lord Hunt, the Energy Minister, has called on the Government and heating industry to work together to fight climate change and has pledged to search for a financial solution to incentivise the uptake of renewable technologies.

In wide-ranging remarks made during the opening of Worcester, Bosch Group's £2m research and development laboratory at the company's head office in Worcester, Lord Hunt said the impact of domestic heat on tackling global warming is often overlooked. 

"All the work we are doing, clean coal, nuclear, wind power is vital. But the area which does not get mentioned is increased efficiency to help us deliver low carbon energy solutions. It is in the domestic arena where much of this work must take place."

In particular, the Minister is targeting improvements to existing properties to improve energy efficiency. 

"Retrofit is the big challenge. We have tough regulations on newbuild, but the existing housing stock needs to be upgraded."

Lord Hunt praised Worcester's commitment to investment and urged more companies not to cut back in a downturn. "In times of economic pressure the last thing we want is for companies to reduce R&D expenditure. You are already ahead of the game. There will be more and more emphasis on low carbon energy efficiency.  Companies, like Worcester, that invest in R&D, will be the winners." 

Carl Arntzen, director of Bosch Thermotechnology, welcomed Lord Hunt's remarks:  "We are very grateful that the Energy Minister has found the time to open our new R&D facility and that he is willing to sit down and debate the considerable issues that both the Government and the industry face in the coming decades. In particular, it is very pleasing to hear that he is open to the need for incentivisation to encourage the uptake of renewables."

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