Government invests in environmental research

14-09-2006

Public and private money will be brought together to fund a new research institute which will help the UK cut carbon emissions, trade and industry secretary Alistair Darling has said.

The £1 billion environmental institute, which will research and develop new technology to improve Britain's green credentials, is set to cover a wide range of issues.

"One is the development of alternative fuels for cars; we know that petrol and diesel are a finite resource," Mr Darling told the Today programme this morning.

"Secondly at the moment the use of solar panels on houses is comparatively rare. They are fairly unwieldy and they are not very attractive. There is technology around that we can develop that would perhaps reduce these solar panels to the size of an ordinary tile. Then you could make it far more common."

He added: "There is the whole issue of carbon capture. That is getting carbon out of coal and gas. These are all things where Britain has got a lot of expertise."

The government hopes to cut CO2 emissions by 60 per cent by 2050 while securing reliable supplies of electricity for the UK's long-term future.

"This institute aims to bring together the government money and private sector money so that we can make sure that Britain becomes a world leader in energy technology," Mr Darling said.

"We need a sensible mix of electricity supply so that all our eggs are not in one basket," he added.


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