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M3 - Tidal Energy  

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William (Will) Conway
(@will-conway)
MP for Milton Keynes North
Joined: 6 months ago
Posts: 99
12/07/2019 3:25 pm  

That this House recognize the great potential of tidal sources to provide clean, renewable, and inexhaustible energy, and calls upon government and the appropriate utilities to develop such sources so that they will eventually produce 20% of the United Kingdom’s energy needs.

 

Mr. Speaker, let me first commend the Right Honorable Lady opposite who brought forth the recently discussed motion regarding clean air, which caused me to reflect upon ways in which the United Kingdom can achieve clean air.  As I stated in my remarks on her motion, it is clear that the way in which our country produces energy affects the very air we breathe.  There is a cross-party consensus that our country must, for its own sake and for the sake of our neighbors and others, must move towards cleaner forms of energy generation.  Fossil fuels have been invaluable in producing prosperity, but they have also produced grievous side effects in the form of air and water pollution, and of course they have contributed to climate change, something which poses a grave potential threat to civilization itself.

I believe it is the appropriate time for this House to move from a general approach to focus on specifics. 

Mr. Speaker, there are several sources of energy that produce zero emissions.  I have lifted up one of those sources in this motion.  Why concentrate on tidal energy?  Because, Mr. Speaker, these two sources have tremendous potential but they have been hardly developed.   Would it surprise this House to learn that tidal energy has the potential to provide 20% of our electric energy needs, and make the United Kingdom a major player in the worldwide renewable energy market … just as we have been in oil production, but this time with a far more beneficial impact on our environment?

I would also note that while wind power has potential and is being utilized, it is necessarily sporadic.  By contrast, tidal energy is available 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. 

The United Kingdom is uniquely placed to develop tidal energy.  Indeed, of the twenty sites worldwide that could support large scale tidal power arrays, eight of these sites are located in our own waters.  Our geographically small Island has 40% of all tidal power sites in the entire world.  These sites include the Severn, Dee, Solway, and Humber estuaries which are suited to host tidal energy generating barrages, and the Islay and Pentland Firth sites which could host tidal turbine arrays.  Indeed, the Pentland Firth site is estimated to have the greatest potential of any site in the world to produce tidal power.  Altogether, these eight sites could produce 20% of our estimated electricity needs.

Such projects will be good for our environment, particularly air quality.  They will also provide jobs and an economic boost from building the appropriate infrastructure. 

Mr. Speaker, our environmental challenges are admittedly great.  But I see them as an opportunity for our country to excel to meet the challenges.  The great good news is that we have been provided with an unique ability to produce clean and inexhaustible power from our tidal activity.  And so let us resolve to move forward aggressively to develop such power.

Will Conway
Conservative
MP for Milton Keynes North (2014- )
Shadow Secretary of State for Energy,
Environment and Climate Change (2016)

Parliamentary 16
Media 14
Policy 8


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Samantha Ryan
(@junkyardcat)
Green
Joined: 10 months ago
Posts: 79
13/07/2019 1:17 pm  

Mr Speaker,

Allow me to start by thanking the right honourable member for bringing this motion to the House. I am very pleased that there now appears to be cross party consensus that climate change and global warming pose an immense and credible threat to our way of life and our planet as we know it.

I have been a long term advocate for the adoption of renewable sources of energy as an alternative to fossil fuels, and so it will come as little surprise that I am in favour of the principle behind this motion. That does not mean, however, that I believe that this presentation is best reflective of the support that the industry will require from this House if it is to flourish in the way that it needs to.

At its core, the motion is right in that it subliminally accepts that fossil fuel reliance can no longer be a long term viable option, and also in that it recognises the importance that marine and tidal energy sources will play in the powering of Britain's future. The member is similarly right in saying that both tidal and wind power are under researched at this current time.

But the motion unfortunately falls short of what is needed. It calls on the government to aim to produce 20% of Britain's energy through tidal power, yet fails to recognise that the projection of 20% of Britain's energy requirements is based on current population levels, and is not an expectation for the long term. It similarly falters by leaving an open ended, blank cheque date by which such energy consumption should be achieved.

Similarly importantly, Mr Speaker, we should not ignore, as the motion selectively chooses to do, the vital importance that wind power will play as renewable energy moves to the centre stage. The member is right in his analysis that individual turbines are not 24 hour power generating systems, but does not present the projections of either the European Wind Energy Association or the European Commission, which both believe that wind generation will produce between 32% and 50% of European energy production by 2050. And with 40% of Europe's wind travelling over Britain, it is ludicrous that we should ignore the potential that it has for us. I am not claiming that it is a perfect source, but it would seem a sorely missed opportunity if we did not develop our potential in this market - particularly when we have historically been long ahead of the continenental and international curve in this area.

Therefore, Mr Speaker, I propose that the motion be significantly amended, as follows.

That this House recognizes the great potential of tidal and wind sources to provide clean, renewable, and inexhaustible energy, and calls upon government and the appropriate utilities to develop and subsidise such sources so that they will eventually produce 20% of the United Kingdom’s energy needs power at least 16 million British households by 2050 or earlier.

MP for Brighton Pavilion (2014-Present)


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William (Will) Conway
(@will-conway)
MP for Milton Keynes North
Joined: 6 months ago
Posts: 99
13/07/2019 3:19 pm  

Mr. Speaker,

In response to the remarks given by the honorable member for Brighton Pavilion, the purpose of this motion is to specifically lift up ONE source of renewable energy for attention and support.  I can assure the honorable lady that I intend to introduce further motions to highlight other sources of renewable energy over time.  I certainly do not oppose further development of wind power and neither does the Opposition.  I would ask for her forbearance as I roll out a comprehensive program for renewal energy development.

Will Conway
Conservative
MP for Milton Keynes North (2014- )
Shadow Secretary of State for Energy,
Environment and Climate Change (2016)

Parliamentary 16
Media 14
Policy 8


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Macmillan
(@dylan-macmillan)
MP for North East Bedfordshire
Joined: 10 months ago
Posts: 560
15/07/2019 6:29 pm  

Mr Speaker, as today is an opposition day time shall be allocated for this debate.

Conservative MP for North East Bedfordshire
Leader of the Opposition (2014-16)

Prime Minister (2014)

Parliamentary Experience: Novice (25)
Media Experience: Experienced (62)
Policy Experience: Novice (29)


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Samantha Ryan
(@junkyardcat)
Green
Joined: 10 months ago
Posts: 79
15/07/2019 6:48 pm  

Mr Speaker,

I would like to reiterate my apologies for having started the debate before the alloted time, though am pleased it has now opened.

With regards to my amendment, I ask the Right Honourable Member if, depite his reservations about the requirement for seperate motions on this matter, he might decide whether to accept or reject it?

MP for Brighton Pavilion (2014-Present)


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William (Will) Conway
(@will-conway)
MP for Milton Keynes North
Joined: 6 months ago
Posts: 99
15/07/2019 9:36 pm  

Mr. Speaker,

If the member from Brighton Pavilion is willing to modify her amendment to include geothermal and nuclear power, I will accept such an amendment

Will Conway
Conservative
MP for Milton Keynes North (2014- )
Shadow Secretary of State for Energy,
Environment and Climate Change (2016)

Parliamentary 16
Media 14
Policy 8


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AL2016
(@al2016)
Member
Joined: 6 months ago
Posts: 57
17/07/2019 11:32 pm  

Madam Speaker,

 

Let me first congratulate you on your ascendancy to your role. There is no one better placed to stand up for parliamentary democracy and the rights of backbenchers to hold the government to account.

 

Let me also welcome the attention of the Honourable Gentleman, the Member for Milton Keynes North, on the issue of climate change and renewable energy. I look forward to the continued engagement on this issue, and moves to create something of a cross-party consensus.

 

On tidal, the Honourable Member is right to highlight the potential benefits it can provide us. As the MP for Hull North, one of the many constituencies on or close to the Humber, I have personal knowledge of how important it is – and will be – to our efforts to create a clean, zero emissions economy. Soon, I will be presenting to the House one step of many that we will be taking to ensure that the Humber can make the fullest contribution as a green energy estuary. The other estuaries that the Honourable Gentleman mentions are also critically important to the future energy supplies of our nation. The House can be assured that we will continue to support these places to develop their tidal potential.

 

We have already invested £250 million in refurbishing shipyards in northern England and Scotland to become global centres for marine renewable energy technologies used in tidal power. The money put into the Green Investment Bank is also for tidal technologies, if the Bank deems it to be an appropriate investment. So, Madam Speaker, we are taking action to promote tidal, but we recognise that more needs to be done.

 

I also, Madam Speaker, have consistently said that the scale of the challenge requires us to invest across the board, lift up all suitable renewable energy sources, and integrate them into a comprehensive plan that cleans our air, reduces our emissions, and tackles climate change. No renewable energy source can be missed out, no opportunity to move away from fossil fuels  

 

A motion that just highlights just tidal energy is not comprehensive, a motion that highlights just tidal and wind is not comprehensive, and a motion that highlights tidal, wind, geothermal, and nuclear is not comprehensive. I appreciate that the Honourable Member mentioned wind and its necessarily sporadic nature but, along with solar, wind is the most democratic of renewable energy sources.

 

For millions, Madam Speaker, a wind turbine and a solar panel will be the most easily accessible means of producing their own renewable energy, and can bring substantial benefits to people across this country through reduced energy bills. We should be encouraging, as far as is practicable, greater energy independence and flexibility. I want this goal to be mainstreamed across policy, especially in how we build our homes in the future. Solar and wind cannot be left out; we should not be making a bet on a few energy sources because we must maximise    

 

Therefore, Madam Speaker, I would like to propose an amendment to the Honourable Gentleman’s motion that builds on the Member for Brighton Pavilion’s motion, and reflects the need for a comprehensive response:

 

That this House recognises the great potential of tidal, geothermal, nuclear, solar and wind sources to collectively provide clean and inexhaustible energy, and calls upon government and the appropriate bodies to develop and subsidise such sources so that they will produce the United Kingdom’s energy needs by 2050.

Emma Hollens
MP for Hull North (2010 - )

Parliamentary - 7
Media - 6
Policy - 13


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William (Will) Conway
(@will-conway)
MP for Milton Keynes North
Joined: 6 months ago
Posts: 99
18/07/2019 3:44 pm  

Madam Speaker,

I join the Right Honorable Lady opposite (ooc:  I am now your Shadow) in congratulating you on your becoming the Speaker of this House, and I believe I speak for all members in wishing you success and Godspeed in your vital role.

While I would have hoped for a fuller discussion of the merits of each source of renewable energy listed in the amendment offered by the Right Honorable Lady opposite, nonetheless I am willing to accept her amendment in order to move this issue forward.

Will Conway
Conservative
MP for Milton Keynes North (2014- )
Shadow Secretary of State for Energy,
Environment and Climate Change (2016)

Parliamentary 16
Media 14
Policy 8


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Samantha Ryan
(@junkyardcat)
Green
Joined: 10 months ago
Posts: 79
18/07/2019 6:20 pm  

Hear hear

MP for Brighton Pavilion (2014-Present)


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AL2016
(@al2016)
Member
Joined: 6 months ago
Posts: 57
20/07/2019 7:48 pm  

Madam Speaker, 

I am glad for the agreement of the Honourable Gentleman over the amendment. It is historic indeed that we are close to having cross-party agreement that by 2050 all of our electricity will be produced by clean sources, especially renewables. It is this government's intention to embed this into all our decisions because if we don't do that, we will fail to meet this Motion - and fail future generations. 

Emma Hollens
MP for Hull North (2010 - )

Parliamentary - 7
Media - 6
Policy - 13


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Steven Andrews
(@steven-andrews)
Member
Joined: 7 months ago
Posts: 120
21/07/2019 11:32 am  

Madam Speaker,
While I suspect we will have our fair share of disagreements over the implementation of this motion in due course...priorities and emphases are always a matter of disagreement, and such is human nature...I think we are at a point where we can agree on a broad consensus here.  I will be supporting the motion as amended.

Steven Andrews, MP for Croydon South

34 Policy/18 Media/23 Parliamentary


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William Croft
(@william-croft)
Member
Joined: 10 months ago
Posts: 260
22/07/2019 4:12 pm  

Madam Speaker, 

I am pleased to offer my support to the Motion made by my friend, the Hon Member for Milton Keynes North. All of us share the moral obligation to ensure we left the world a better place than how we found it, and today that simply cannot be done unless we are committed to finding alternative sources of energy production. As Members of Parliament we must embrace this task with a great sense of urgency, as our children and grandchildren depend on us to take the bold action necessary to confront global warming. 

This Motion, and investing in tidal energy more generally, is a critical step in the right direction. I do not believe that any one form of energy alone will be enough to power Britain, and the world, in the place of traditional fossil fuels. We need to employ the arsenal of technologies and energy alternatives that are naturally available to us, and that certainly includes tidal energy. With Britain being an island nation, and one that has a great number of naturally occurring rivers, streams, and estuaries, we are uniquely positioned to invest in tidal energy and reap massive rewards. 

I commend my friend the Hon Member for Milton Keynes North for taking up this initiative, and putting words into real action. The Conservative Party is absolutely committed to meeting our stated target of achieving zero net carbon emissions by 2050. As we have done with the Government's proposed fracking ban, I hope investing in Tidal energy will be an area in which our party can work together with those Opposite to achieve meaningful policy change that our country needs. 

William Croft
Member of Parliament for Bracknell
Shadow Foreign Secretary
Chairman of the Conservative Party
Chief Whip of the Conservative party


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