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Ministerial Travel

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) on how many occasions in each year since 1992 non-commercial flights were used by Ministers in his Department for official overseas visits; what the (a) destination, (b) Ministers involved, (c) cost and (d) reason for use of non- commercial flights were on each occasion; and if he will make a statement; [6936]

Mr. Straw: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given by the Prime Minister to the hon. Member for Banff and Buchan (Mr. Salmond) on 15 October 2001, Official Report, column 823W.

Departmental Spending

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the total amount of spending by his Department was in each nation and region of the UK, in the last year for which figures are available; what proportion of his Department's total spending this constitutes; and if he will make a statement. [6821]

Mr. MacShane: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my right hon. Friend the Chief Secretary to the Treasury on 15 October 2001, Official Report, columns 854–56W.

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TRADE AND INDUSTRY

Sellafield (MOX Facility)

Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement on security arrangements at the MOX facility at Sellafield. [7883]

Mr. Wilson [holding answer 15 October 2001]: Security at the Sellafield MOX plant complies fully with the standards set by the Director for Civil Nuclear Security, the Government's security Regulator. The Office for Civil Nuclear Security has taken account of the events in the United States of America on 11 September and continues to be satisfied that the security arrangements to be applied by BNFL will provide effective security once the plant starts to operate.

Renewable Energy

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if it is her policy to allow funds available to support renewable energy to be used towards projects involving energy from waste plants. [7086]

Mr. Wilson: The Renewables Obligation Statutory Consultation sets out our proposals for support for renewable sources of energy and clarifies the extent to which electricity generated by energy from waste plants might qualify. Copies of this will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses of Parliament. This document is also available at: "http://www.dti.gov.uk/renewable/ consultations.htm" and any further responses are now urgently invited as the closing date was 12 October 2001.

In collaboration with the Department of the Environment Transport and Regions (DETR), now the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), we have supported the publication of "Household Waste Management in the UK, Some Examples of Good Practice". This publication illustrates how energy from waste projects can be part of an integrated approach to waste management. Copies of this guide can be ordered from: "[email protected]" and copies have been deposited in the Libraries of both Houses of Parliament.

Mr. Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what percentage of UK electricity was produced from renewable resources in the last 12 months; and what percentage of that was produced from (a) hydro- electricity, (b) wind, (c) combined heat and power schemes and (d) other; and if she will make a statement. [7361]

Mr. Wilson: In 2000, 2.8 per cent. of electricity generated in the UK came from renewable sources. Of that, 49 per cent. was produced from hydro-electricity, 9 per cent. was from wind, and 42 per cent. from other sources (mainly biofuels), within which 4 per cent. was generated in combined heat and power schemes.

Through the Renewables Obligation, and through a package of additional support measures, the Government are creating a strong and growing demand for renewable energy worth over £1 billion by 2010. These measures will provide the right framework for the strong expansion we need in the renewable energy sector.

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Ms Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how much was spent in each of the last five years by her Department into the investigation of renewable energy resources. [7348]

Mr. Wilson: The Department of Trade and Industry attaches great importance to renewable energy and has set ambitious targets. The new Renewables Obligation will create a long-term market for renewables which will be worth over £1 billion per year by 2010. The Obligation will be the main mechanism by which we will meet our renewables targets and will be underpinned by direct Government funding worth over £260 million between 2001 and 2004. This will include an extensive capital grants programme for the early development of offshore wind and energy crops, the initial stage of a major photovoltaics demonstration programme and a boost for research and development.

The Department funds research into renewable energy resources both through its own Sustainable Energy Programme and through the Science Budget which supports the Research Councils. Spend over each of the last five years, and the budgets for this year and next, which allow for significant expansion, are set out in the table.

£ million

YearDTI Sustainable Energy ProgrammeResearch Councils
1996–9716.32.2
1997–9813.02.9
1998–9911.33.1
1999–200012.52.4
2000–0113.12.8
2001–0218.55.0
2002–0318.55.1

(11) Budget


In order to promote a strategic approach to renewable energy planning from the regional level downwards, the Government in February 2000 initiated work on regional assessments and targets for renewable energy provision based upon, and where necessary updating, existing resource studies. Most of these assessments are now complete, with the remainder to be completed by the end of 2001. Spend on these studies, which is included in the wider figures above for the Sustainable Energy Programme, was £0.3 million in 2000–01 and is expected to be £0.25 million in 2001–02.

Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make it her policy to support the construction of renewable energy sources rather than nuclear power stations; if she will announce a moratorium on nuclear power station construction in the UK; and if she will make a statement. [6757]

Mr. Wilson: The Government are putting in hand a range of measures to support renewable energy, including a Renewables Obligation on electricity suppliers, exemption from the climate change levy and grant funding in excess of £260 million over the next three years.

The Cabinet Office's Performance and Innovation Unit is also currently carrying out an energy review and will report to the Prime Minister by the end of the year. The aim of the review is to set out the objectives of energy

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policy and to ensure that current policy commitments are consistent with longer-term goals. The review is considering all sources of energy including renewables and nuclear as well as the enhancement of energy efficiency. At this stage it is too early to draw any conclusions.

Civil Service (Retirement Age)

Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will list the compulsory retirement ages which apply to employees of her Department and of executive agencies and other public sector bodies for which it is responsible, broken down by grade or job title. [7229]

Ms Hewitt: The normal retirement age for staff in my Department, its executive agencies and, subject to the exceptions below, public sector bodies which it sponsors, is 60 for staff at range 5 (formerly Executive Officer level) and above and 65 for staff below this level.

In the Research Councils, the normal retirement age is 60 for all staff with the exception of the Medical Research Council where it is 65. The Design Council does not have a compulsory retirement age for its staff. In Regional Development Agencies the normal retirement age is 65 with the exception of the East of England Development Agency and the South West Regional Development Agency where it is 60. However, for those RDA staff who are members of the Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme, the normal retirement age is 60.

Export Control Bill

Colin Burgon: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what secondary legislation the Government plan to introduce under the Export Control Bill; if the Government will hold a public consultation on that legislation; and if she will make a statement. [8317]

Nigel Griffiths: My Department and the Department of Culture, Media and Sport have made available to Parliament dummy orders, that is drafts of possible orders using the powers in the Bill as they currently stand. Copies have been placed in the Libraries of the House. They are also available from my Department's library and on our website (www.dti.gov.uk/export.control). These dummy orders have been provided to assist Parliament in its scrutiny of the Bill by providing a clear indication of how the Government would propose to use the powers that would be conferred by the Bill.

We intend, however, to hold a full public consultation on drafts of the orders to be made following enactment of the Bill. This public consultation, which we currently expect to hold in the spring, will provide interested parties with an opportunity to comment on the details of secondary legislation that the Government propose to introduce under the Bill. We currently expect the dummy orders to be the basis for preparation of these draft orders for full public consultation.

The provisions in the dummy orders are based both on existing secondary export control legislation, consolidated and rationalised where appropriate, and on the Government's proposals for new controls to be introduced under the Bill. Proposals for new controls were set out in the Consultation Document on the Draft Bill (Cm 5091) published in March 2001.

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The Consultation Document sought views on options for certain aspects of the new controls on technical assistance and trafficking and brokering. The provisions of the dummy orders reflect decisions taken on these options in the light of the consultation results. Views were sought on whether controls on the provision of technical assistance to embargoed destinations should be introduced on a unilateral basis. The Government have concluded that such unilateral action is unlikely to be effective but we will use the powers in the Bill to implement requirements in international embargoes to impose controls on technical assistance. This will enable a higher maximum penalty to apply. In addition, as explained in the Consultation Document, the Government propose to introduce controls on the provision of technical assistance to weapons of mass destruction and related missile programmes.

The Consultation Document proposed the introduction of controls on trafficking and brokering to embargoed destinations, of equipment whose export we have banned because of evidence of its use in torture and of long-range missiles that would apply to the activities of United Kingdom persons overseas as well as to activities carried out in the United Kingdom. The Consultation Document also set out proposals for additional controls on trafficking and brokering. Views were sought on whether these additional controls should apply to all equipment on the "Military List" (the "Military List" is contained in existing export control legislation) or just to weapons, ammunition and certain other key military or paramilitary items. Views were also sought on whether these additional controls should apply to the activities of United Kingdom persons carrying out activities wholly abroad as well as to activities taking place in the United Kingdom. The Government have concluded, in the light of the consultation held, that these additional controls should apply to all equipment on the "Military List" and to activities, any part of which takes place in the United Kingdom, but not to the activities of United Kingdom nationals carried out wholly abroad. The Government will, however, as noted above, apply controls on trafficking and brokering by United Kingdom persons overseas of equipment used in torture and long-range missiles and trafficking and brokering by such persons to embargoed destinations. The Government will press for international embargoes to be imposed on countries in conflict.

Finally, the Consultation Document also sought views on proposals to replicate the current licensing regime for exports of objects of cultural interest. In the light of responses which broadly welcomed these proposals, the dummy order on the export of objects of cultural interest reflects the proposals contained in the Consultation Document.


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