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Lord Brownlow of Shurlock Row Excerpts
Tuesday 14th May 2024

(1 month ago)

Lords Chamber
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Lord Callanan Portrait Lord Callanan (Con)
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The noble Lord is asking me to speculate on past Governments, some of which the Liberal Democrats were part of. I agree with the noble Lord that the future homes standard should be implemented as quickly as possible, and DLUHC assures me that the consultation is live at the moment and will be implemented next year.

Lord Brownlow of Shurlock Row Portrait Lord Brownlow of Shurlock Row (Con)
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My Lords, there is a growing need for this sort of endeavour. I am not sure whether the Minister is aware that, over in the United States, ChatGPT and other artificial intelligence is currently consuming 4% of America’s electricity generation. It is forecast that, by the end of this decade, six years away, it will be 20% to 25%. Are the Government making any plans to prepare for greater electrical generation in this country?

Lord Callanan Portrait Lord Callanan (Con)
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Indeed, my noble friend makes a very good point about the extent to which electricity usage will grow. Actually, the peak electricity usage in the UK occurred a number of years ago. We have actually been becoming more efficient in how we use electricity, with better lighting, et cetera. Clearly, if we move to more electric vehicles and more electrically powered heating, along with some of the circumstances that my noble friend outlines, electrical use will go up. We are spending many tens of billions of pounds on upgrading the electrical grid and rolling out increasing amounts of renewable: offshore wind, tidal, solar and so on. But in essence my noble friend is right that we need to plan for an electrical future.