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Renewable Energy: South West

Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many jobs have been created in the renewable energy sector in the South West region in each of the last five years. [230832]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The Department does not collect annual data on job creation in the renewable energy sector at the regional level.

Surveys were, however, carried out by DTZ in 2005 and 2008 on behalf of Regen SW and the results published in ‘The Economic Contribution of the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Sector in the South West of England’. According to the surveys, 1,140 direct jobs (FTEs) were reported in 2005. The April 2008 survey reported 2,900 jobs.

The 2008 report can be downloaded from:

Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what steps the Government are taking to ensure that the South West region attains its target of generating 15 to 20 per cent. of its energy needs through renewable sources by 2020. [230835]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The Government's climate change supplement to Planning Policy Statement (PPS) 1—Delivering Sustainable Development expects regional
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planning bodies to set regional targets for renewable energy generation in line with PPS22—Renewable Energy, and to

The Government previously had a UK-wide target of 10 per cent. renewable electricity by 2010, and an aspiration to double this by 2020. It is likely that the UK will be set a target of 15 per cent. renewable energy (i.e. heat, transport and electricity) by 2020 as our share of the EU target to produce 20 per cent. of the EU's energy from renewable sources in 2020. We would expect the UK's share of the target to be translated into local/regional policies when it has been agreed.

River Severn: Tidal Power

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what representations he has received on the effects of a Severn Barrage on biodiversity on and near the Severn. [231156]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The views of statutory consultees, environmental NGOs and other key stakeholders on biodiversity issues are being considered as part of the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) being carried out for the Government by a consortium led by Parsons Brinckerhoff. The Strategic Environmental Assessment has a steering group, and this includes representation of biodiversity interests by statutory consultees, Government agencies and non-governmental organisations.

Some bodies and individuals have also given their views on the various potential environmental impacts of a tidal power scheme in the Severn Estuary, in response to a Call for Information issued by Parsons Brinckerhoff in May 2008. This invited interested parties to submit comments or information that could contribute to the assessment. Responses in relation to biodiversity have been received from the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management, Countryside Council for Wales, Environment Agency, Forest of Dean District Council, Gloucestershire County Council, National Trust, Natural England, Mr. Ray Parker, PML Applications Ltd, Ravensrodd Consultants Ltd, RSPB, Sedgemor District Council, Severn Estuary Partnership, South East Wales Biodiversity Records Centre, Shawater Ltd, Stroud District Council, South West Regional Assembly, Welsh Assembly Government, and the Wye and Usk Foundation.

In addition, a Regional Forum of leaders of local authorities, business and environmental networks meets quarterly to discuss progress and key issues of the feasibility study, including impacts on biodiversity.

There will be an opportunity for the public to give their views during the consultation on the feasibility study and SEA scoping report planned for January 2009.

Wind Power

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how much his Department and its predecessor spent on promoting commercial wind turbines in each of the last five years. [228677]


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Mr. Mike O'Brien: The question appears to relate to advertising and publicity in respect of commercial wind turbines. Neither this Department nor its predecessors have provided any direct financial support for advertising or publicity relating to large-scale commercial wind turbines.

The Government support small-scale installations through phases 1 and 2 of the Low Carbon Buildings Programme. Therefore, promotional activity through these programmes will have covered small-scale wind turbines.

We provide business development support for the UK renewable energy sector through UKTI (BERR) and DECC's Renewables Deployment Business Development team. This work is essentially aimed at maximising business opportunities for the sector, both domestically and overseas.

Public sector funding for low carbon technology innovation, including wind power is being delivered through the Carbon Trust, Research Councils, the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI), the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) and the Environmental Transformation Fund (ETF). These bodies do not use Government funding for publicising wind turbines. Government money may, however, be spent on publicising their activities in the field of renewable energy and this could therefore include wind turbines. Any such amounts would be negligible.

The renewables obligation (RO) is the Government's main mechanism for encouraging new renewable generating capacity. It is administered by Ofgem and places an obligation on licensed electricity suppliers to source a specific and annually increasing proportion of their sales from renewable sources. Generators receive one renewables obligation certificate (ROC) for each megawatt hour of eligible generation.

The Government's policy is that it is for the market to bring forward proposals for wind power developments which, with support from the RO, are financially viable.

Wind Power: Finance

Paul Rowen: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change whether wind power subsidies resulting from the renewables obligation may be awarded to companies registered in tax havens; and if he will make a statement. [231195]

Paul Rowen: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change whether wind power subsidies resulting from the renewables obligation may be awarded to companies who are registered in other countries; and if he will make a statement. [231196]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The renewables obligation does not provide subsidies to licensed electricity suppliers but instead places an obligation on them to source a specific and annually increasing proportion of their sales from renewable sources. Suppliers meet their obligation either by presenting renewable obligation Certificates (ROCs); by paying a buy-out price; or a combination of presenting ROCs and paying the buy-out price. Money
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from the buy-out fund is recycled pro-rata to suppliers presenting ROCs.

ROCs are issued to accredited generators for every 1 MWh of electricity generated from eligible renewable sources. The electricity must be generated within the UK and supplied to customers within the UK by a licensed electricity supplier, or used in another permitted way. The Renewables Obligation Order places no restrictions on who may own or operate a generating station or hold a supply licence.

Wind Power: Planning

Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what recent discussions he has had with (a) the Department for Transport and (b) the Highways Agency on the siting of wind turbines near motorways. [231489]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has not had any discussions with the Department for Transport or the Highways Agency on the siting of wind turbines near motorways.

Any proposals to site wind turbines near motorways would be subject to the usual planning development consents under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 or the Electricity Act 1989.

Children, Schools and Families

Adoption

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) how many (a) couples and (b) single people approved to adopt were added to the Adoption Register in each year since its creation; [232635]

(2) how many children were added to the Adoption Register in each year since its creation. [232636]

Beverley Hughes: This information can be found in the following table:

Number of prospective adopters and children referred to the Adoption Register for England and Wales for the year ending December

2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007

Prospective adopters—couples

2,263

1,678

1,444

1,081

1,252

1,196

Prospective adopters—single

185

129

139

134

182

167

Children

2,645

1,879

2,119

1,657

1,727

1,832

Source:
The Adoption Register for England and Wales.

Anti-Bullying Alliance

John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how much he has allocated to the Anti-Bullying Alliance for each of the next three years; for what purposes; and if he will make a statement. [231361]


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Sarah McCarthy-Fry: The Anti Bullying Alliance is funded by the Department to deliver a three year programme of work from April 2008 to (i) raise awareness of how to recognise, prevent and tackle bullying in the education sector, and (ii) offer support and challenge to local authorities and schools to help embed anti-bullying work effectively on the ground.

The funding allocated to this work, excluding VAT, in each of the next three years is shown in the table.

£

Awareness raising Embedding work

2008-09

299,174

550,000

2009-10

298,950

550,000

2010-11

308,603

550,000


Children: Databases

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) which people and organisations will have access to the National Child Database; [231716]

(2) what security measures will be put in place to protect the data stored on the National Child Database; and if he will make a statement; [231717]

(3) what procedures will be put in place to ensure that information stored on the National Child Database is accurate; and if he will make a statement; [231718]

(4) whether details of a child kept on the National Child Database will be destroyed once that child reaches the age of 18 years. [231719]

Beverley Hughes: The purpose of ContactPoint is to support practitioners in fulfilling their duties under section 10 (duty to co-operate to improve well-being), and section 11 (safeguarding and promoting welfare of children) of the Children Act 2004, section 175 of the Education Act 2002 (duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children), and the local authority duties established by section 436A of the Education Act 1996 (to identify children not receiving education).

In response to question 231716, regulation 9(2) of the Children Act 2004 Information Database (England) Regulations 2007 provides that access to ContactPoint may only be granted, in line with this purpose, by a local authority to the persons specified in schedule 3 (listed at annex A). Regulation 9(3) provides that such access to ContactPoint may only be granted, in line with the same purpose, by a ‘national partner’, (listed at annex B), to an employee of that ‘national partner’.

In response to question 231717, a number of robust security measures will be in place to ensure security:


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Security is of paramount importance in the development and operation of ContactPoint. The independent security assessment by Deloitte which ran until February 2008 confirmed that robust measures are in place for the security of ContactPoint and acknowledged that the importance of security is ingrained within the project. The review did not find any areas of significant weakness. While, overall, the report was very positive about security across the project, it made some recommendations about controls and measures to consider, in addition to those already planned, to be in place when the system goes live. We have accepted all the recommendations and are implementing them.

In response to question 231718, wherever possible, ContactPoint will be automatically updated from existing systems so that practitioners will not need to enter the same information twice. The aim is that the system should not impose burdens on front-line practitioners and that it should fit conveniently into their daily work. All data supplied will be in accordance with and constrained by section 12 of the Children Act 2004 and the supporting regulations, which specifically prohibit the inclusion of any case information.

Records from a range of national and local sources will be combined using data matching technology to produce a comprehensive set of basic information about each child. This will mean that ContactPoint builds a ‘best view’ of all information on a child from both national and local data sources. This makes it highly resilient to errors in any individual source; where these occur, they will be identified and flagged back to the source for correction.


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