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11 Nov 2008 : Column 1142W—continued

Renewable Energy

Stephen Hesford: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what progress has been made towards the Government’s target of generating 10 per cent. of electricity supply from renewable energy sources by 2010; and what percentage of electricity supply generated from renewable sources in the latest period for which information is available. [232477]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: In 2000, the Government set a target for 10 per cent. of UK electricity capacity from renewable sources by 2010. In order to meet our 10 per cent. renewable electricity target, we estimate that we would need to generate just over 40 TWh of renewable electricity by 31 December 2010. Current estimates show that we potentially have over 45 TWh of renewable generation that is already operational, is under construction or is consented and awaiting construction.

According to the Digest of United Kingdom Energy Statistics (DUKES) 2008, renewables provided 5.0 per cent. of UK electricity generation at the end of 2007 (4.9 per cent. from Renewables Obligation (RO) eligible sources). Since the introduction of the RO in 2002, renewable electricity generation capacity has almost tripled (2.2 per cent. in 2002 compared with 4.9 per cent. in 2007). Further information on the generation of electricity from renewable sources can be found in chapter 7 of DUKES 2008:

Renewable Energy: Finance

Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what recent discussions he has had with renewable energy developers on the level of private capital investment for renewable energy; and if he will make a statement. [233126]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The Department has regular discussions with both the investor community and renewable energy developers on financing of renewable energy projects in the UK.


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The Government are working to create the right business environment for investment in renewable energy. We recognise that investment in energy infrastructure requires significant capital investment and a supportive regulatory framework. Investments in renewable energy projects are long-term, and we believe the costs are manageable and spread over time, with the biggest costs in the run up to 2020 and beyond. We have committed to a comprehensive package of reforms to speed up renewables deployment in the UK and provide a stable long term climate for investment in renewables.

Despite the current economic climate, the UK remains a good place to invest in green energy. Many key projects are still planning to go ahead—for example, last month’s announcement that Masdar will invest in the 1,000 megawatt (MW) London Array offshore wind farm. When built, this should be able to supply 1 per cent. of the UK’s electricity needs. This month, RWE Innogy has announced that it has acquired a 50 per cent. share of the 500 MW Greater Gabbard offshore wind farm.

Also this month, as announced during the Prime Minister’s trip to the Gulf, a new £250 million UK-Qatar Clean Technology Investment Fund will be set up to develop and deploy low carbon energy and technology. This will boost venture capital funding for early-stage UK low carbon companies and technologies and help address our climate change objectives.

River Severn: Tidal Power

Robert Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change when the next (a) parliamentary and (b) regional forums on the River Severn tidal energy project will be held. [232679]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The next parliamentary forum will be held on 1 December 2008 at 3pm in London at the Department of Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, 1 Victoria Street Conference Centre. The next regional forum is being held on 2 December 2008 in either Newport or Cardiff.

It is intended that both forums be co-chaired by myself and Jane Davidson, Welsh Assembly Government Ministers for the Environment, Sustainability and Housing.

Sellafield

Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change whether the proposal to indemnify the new parent body organisation to manage the Sellafield Site Licence Company against uninsurable liability claims was considered by the European Commission under state aid rules prior to finalising the agreement with the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority. [232171]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: We are not aware of any such consideration by the European Commission.

Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change pursuant to the answer of 14 July 2008, Official Report, column 76W, on Sellafield, on what dates between 14 July and 6 October 2008 Ministers or officials of his Department met officials of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority to discuss the indemnification of the successful bidder for the Parent
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Body Organisation chosen to manage Sellafield; if he will place minutes of all such meetings in the Library; and what meetings his Department and its predecessor have had with the European Commission on the compliance with state aid rules of the Government accepting an indemnification for Sellafield. [233737]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: There were no meetings between 14 July and 6 October 2008 between the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and Ministers or officials of the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform about the indemnity for the successful bidder for the Sellafield Parent Body Organisation.

There have been no meetings with the European Commission on this issue. As a normal commercial arrangement involving no subsidy for the new Parent Body Organisation, the proposed indemnity does not raise any State aid concerns.

Solar Power

Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment his Department has made of the UK's capacity to build integrated solar photovoltaics; and if he will make a statement. [228368]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The Department has committed over £41 million to support the photovoltaic industry since 2000 through the Major Demonstration PV programme and field trials. The photovoltaic industry currently benefits from the £86 million Low Carbon Buildings programme and electricity generated is also eligible for support under the Renewables Obligation (RO). In addition, there are wider measures supporting development of Solar PV including grants for R&D through the Technology Programme and the Microgeneration Certification Scheme which sets out product and installation standards for solar PV at the smaller scale. As a result of these programmes and wider measures the UK Solar PV industry has developed strengths in the design and manufacture of building integrated products.

We recently announced that we will implement a feed-in tariff for small-scale generation up to 3 MW alongside the Renewables Obligation for large-scale projects.

Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what steps his Department is taking to increase levels of investment in UK solar photovoltaic manufacturing. [228488]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: As part of the Manufacturing Strategy the Government announced their intention to create an Office of Renewable Energy Deployment. This Office will help deliver the necessary step-change in the deployment of renewable energy in the UK to meet the 2020 target. It will provide a one-stop shop for dealing with the range of delivery issues, including supply chain, planning, grid and other matters, across the range of deployable renewable energy technologies. It will also help to raise the domestic and global profile of manufacturing companies in the supply chain and identify potential opportunities working with the Manufacturing Advisory Service.


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The Manufacturing Strategy contained other measures which include plans for the Government to work with the CBI and others to develop a Low Carbon Showcase to promote low carbon products to a global marketplace. The Government will come forward in 2009 with a Low Carbon Industrial Strategy that will look at how business can adapt and make the most from the growth in the low carbon economy and what the Government's role should be.

Warm Front Scheme

Greg Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what the total value of grants made under (a) the Warm Front and (b) the Home Energy Efficiency Scheme was in each of the last five years. [231276]

Joan Ruddock: The Warm Front spend since the scheme’s inception in 2000 is outlined as follows:

Scheme year Approximate total spend/budget (£ million)

2000-01

72

2001-02

197

2002-03

163

2003-04

164

2004-05

166

2005-06

192

2006-07

320

2007-08

350


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Fuel poverty is now a devolved issue and the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) does not hold the appropriate data for the Home Energy Efficiency Scheme in Wales (HEES Wales).

Greg Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many (a) applications for grants and (b) grants were made under (i) the Warm Front and (ii) the Home Energy Efficiency Scheme there have been in each of the last five years. [231278]

Joan Ruddock: The following table illustrates, by scheme year, (a) the number of applications made to the Warm Front Scheme from households both eligible and not eligible for assistance, and (b) the number of households assisted in each year, since 2003-04.

Warm Front Scheme (England all)
Scheme year Total applications made Total households assisted

2003-04

(1)182,852

188,974

2004-05

(1)199,423

208,084

2005-06

221,259

173,184

2006-07

355,987

253,079

2007-08

390,621

268,900

(1) Figures do not include those applications made in the Eastern region where the scheme was being delivered by Powergen.

Fuel poverty is now a devolved issue and the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) does not hold the appropriate data for the Home Energy Efficiency Scheme in Wales (HEES Wales).


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