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When they intend to bring forward the first Non-Fossil Fuel Order round for offshore wind development; and[HL4043]
Whether there are any outstanding intra-governmental issues to resolve before they announce the first Non-Fossil Fuel Order round for offshore wind development; and[HL4044]
Whether, to meet their targets for expanding renewable energy by 2010, available renewable energy sources (notably wind energy, particularly from offshore sites) will need to be expanded at the maximum practicable rate; and what annual forecasts for offshore wind generation they currently plan to implement from 2000 onwards; and[HL4045]
Whether they intend to set up a one-stop shop to encourage the various interests involved in granting interests to offshore wind installations in the simplification and integration of procedures; and, if so, when they intend to announce the modus operandi of their policy.[HL4046]
Lord Sainsbury of Turville : On 30 March the Government published a consultation paper: New and Renewable Energy--Prospects for the 21st Century. The paper confirmed the Government's target of working towards providing 10 per cent. of UK electricity supplies from renewable sources as soon as possible, which it hopes to achieve by 2010. It also identified a range of possible mechanisms to support market simulation. A summary of the responses to that consultation was published on 30 July, and entitled New and Renewable Energy--Prospects for the 21st Century: Analysis of the Responses to the Consultation Paper.
The Government's next step is to develop and implement a New and Renewable Energy Strategy for the next century. That future strategy will have to be formed in the context of the new frameworks being established for the open and competitive energy markets, the Climate Change Levy announced by the Chancellor in the budget, and the UK's future climate change programme.
Offshore wind has the potential to make a substantial contribution to our renewables target. How much of a contribution will depend primarily on the environmental acceptability of offshore wind projects and the technology's cost in comparison to other renewables. My department has commissioned work to analyse the different development consent regimes relevant to offshore wind energy projects. I envisage that developers would be provided with guidance to encourage a unified approach to obtaining offshore development consents.
Lord Sainsbury of Turville: The regulation of telecoms operators in the UK is a matter for Oftel. All those providing publicly available telephone services, both fixed and mobile, must publish information for residential consumers on their standard terms and conditions.
Consumers, however, may need more information in order to be able to compare the impact on their bill of the tariffs of different operators. Oftel is working with the main fixed link operators and consumer groups on developing a price comparison model to help residential customers more easily compare prices. The first comparison model will be introduced later this year and it will give customers access to more transparent information with which to make a more informed choice of telecoms provider.
Lord Sainsbury of Turville: The Pressure Equipment Regulations 1999 set out the essential safety requirements for the design and manufacture of pressure equipment placed on the market or put into service in the Community for the first time. They do not apply to the use, maintenance and repair of such equipment. The regulations do not apply, however, to the manufacture and import of pressure equipment for own non-commercial use and it is therefore only where equipment is manufactured in the course of business that the manufacturer must ensure that it meets the requirements of the regulations. All member states have a duty to transpose the directive (which these regulations implement in the UK), which does not contain an exemption for model steam-powered road and rail vehicles. However, it is important to note that for those with a pressurised volume of no more than two litres they will only have to manufacture to current sound engineering practice and not with the essential requirements.
Lord Sainsbury of Turville: There is no single definition of accountants either in the UK or in Europe. However, the current number of individual qualified UK-based members of the Consultative Committee of Accountancy Bodies, an umbrella body comprising the six chartered accountancy bodies, is 200,771.
Although no comparable figures are available for persons holding accountancy qualifications for European Union member countries, the following figures based on the report Continuous Quality Assurance--Statutory Audit in Europe published by the Federation Des Experts Comptables Europeens in April 1998 gives the number of registered auditors per head of populations.
|Population million||Country||Population per auditor|
Lord Sainsbury of Turville: The UK contributed to all aspects of the Unispace III conference from its inception through planning and final execution. Over 80 people from the UK attended the conference in a range of capacities. They included exhibitors in the associated exhibition, members of the Technical Forum in space related workshops, those at the Space Generation Forum, which sought to develop young people's ideas for space, and those in the official delegation or in the delegations of international organisations of which the UK is a member.
Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The National Lottery Commission has received no representations from the Virgin Group about the award of the next licence to operate the National Lottery. The Commission has, however, held one meeting with Mr Richard Branson, Chairman of the Virgin Group, in his private capacity, at its offices in London. Mr Branson was one of 14 individuals and organisations who took up the Commission's offer for interested parties to meet and express views on the award of the next licence, prior to the Commission's announcement of its Statement of Main Principles for the selection process.
Lord McIntosh of Haringey: Copies of the terms of reference for the review have been placed in the Libraries of the House. The review will examine, inter alia, the agency's performance in relation to its aims and objectives, but is not designed specifically to examine progress on implementation of the Jenkins Review Group's recommendations, which are monitored by the Royal Parks Agency.
Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The Department for Culture, Media and Sport is responsible for carrying out the review and has issued invitations to tender to carry out the performance evaluation element.
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