Previous Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page

The main reason for the rise in staff numbers is because EMDA has taken on additional responsibilities over the five-year period. This has resulted in new posts, which in the majority of cases have been filled by the transfer of staff from their existing organisation. This has included the transfer of Business Links, East Midlands Tourism, the Modernising Rural Delivery Programme, and the Rural Development Programme for England 2007-13 and the European Regional Development Fund Programme 2007-2013.

Education: Land-based Diploma

Question

Asked by Lord Taylor of Holbeach

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Children, Schools and Families (Baroness Morgan of Drefelin): Ten days’ work experience is a mandatory element of the land-based and environment diploma. It is therefore a condition of funding that a provider or a consortium of providers delivering the diploma ensures that the work experience takes place. It is also a statutory requirement for schools to secure work experience placements for their 14-16 year old pupils. These are mainly arranged by Education Business Partnerships organisations.

In planning diploma delivery, 14-19 partnerships and consortia must ensure that efficient and effective travel arrangements are in place to enable learners to access all elements of the programme, including work experience. To support them in this task in each of the 40 most rural areas we have funded the post of Transport and Access Coordinator (at £75,000 per local authority for 18 months from September 2008) to allow these local authorities to investigate and arrange more effective and efficient transport for their young people accessing diplomas. We have also made funding available through the diploma formula grant to reflect the additional costs of travel between institutions in more sparsely populated local authorities. Details of how this funding was calculated can be found in the diploma grant guidance issued to local authorities and 14-19 partnerships in December 2007. This document can be accessed through the 14-19 education and skills website at http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/14-19/ within the 14-19 funding section under diploma funding.

This funding is in addition to the significant investment taking place across the 14-19 reform programme. This includes £30,000 given for each diploma being offered for the first time by a consortium in 2008 and 2009, and the central package of support offering training for the workforce (an investment of over £80 million in total in 2008-09). We also offer a range of guidance and fund local delivery support (for example, our successful series of learning visits).

Embryology

Questions

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool



12 Jan 2009 : Column WA96

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): As stated in my Written Answer on 11 December (WA 8), the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) does consider a broad range of available evidence in the assisted reproduction field, as part of the statutory duty placed upon it by subsection 8(a) of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990. This requires the HFEA to keep under review information about embryos and any subsequent development of embryos and about the provision of treatment services and activities governed by this Act, and to advise the Secretary of State, if asked to do so, about those matters. The Government would seek the advice of the HFEA, as appropriate, on matters that have a bearing on its statutory duties.

As I said in my Answer of 11 December, the HFEA does not interpret its duty to keep information about embryos and the development of embryos under review as a requirement to provide commentary on particular academic papers on request.

On the subject of outgrowing embryos, an observer from the department was present at meetings of the HFEA's Scientific Clinical Advances Group when this topic was discussed. The HFEA has advised me that it has not consulted the Medical Research Council on this issue.

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

Lord Darzi of Denham: The department has nothing further to add to the response of 19 March, as an embryo outgrowth is still not considered an embryo by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, nor would it develop if implanted in a woman.

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

Lord Darzi of Denham: The Government would seek the advice of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority on any matter where its expertise as the national regulator of embryology matters would have a bearing.

Energy: Gas

Questions

Asked by Lord Truscott

The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change & Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): We are currently aware of 7.2 gigawatts of new combined cycle gas turbines capacity under construction. The Government published their overall assessment of future security of supply in its Energy Markets Outlook in October 2007, including scenarios for new generation capacity. This is available at http://www.berr.gov.uk/whatwedo/energy/energymarketsoutlook/Page41839.html. The 2008 Energy Markets Outlook will be published shortly.

Asked by Lord Truscott

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: In the Government's Energy Markets Outlook, published in October 2007, we indicated that the lead time for a gas-fired power station could be expected to be around five years, including two years for design, planning consent, project planning and permitting, two years for construction, and six months for commissioning.



12 Jan 2009 : Column WA98

Energy: Light Bulbs

Question

Asked by Lord Taylor of Holbeach

The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change & Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): Two measures under the EU's Eco-design of Energy-using Products Framework Directive have been agreed by member states that set minimum energy efficiency requirements on lamps placed on the market. Both measures are currently undergoing European parliamentary scrutiny before entry into force in the spring.

A measure on tertiary lighting products includes minimum energy-efficiency requirements for street lighting lamps and ballasts, and will also effectively remove high-pressure sodium lamps from the market.

A second measure on household lamps sets minimum energy-efficiency requirements on non-directional, domestic-use lamps, including halogen lamps commonly used in outdoor applications.

There are no plans to reduce the candle power of outdoor lamps available for sale.

Energy: Renewables

Question

Asked by Lord Taylor of Holbeach

The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change & Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): The figure for the cost to the economy of the renewables obligation in 2004-05 in the November PQ of £495 million is correct. The discrepancy with the figure of £498 million quoted in the September PQ is due to an error.

The consumer in the September PQ is based on an average domestic electricity consumption figure quoted by Energywatch of 3,300 kWh per annum. In the November PQ it was based on a consumption figure

12 Jan 2009 : Column WA99

of 4,400 kWh per annum, which included average domestic and SME electricity consumption. This led to the higher figures in the latter for household costs. The correct figures are £5.87 for 2005-06; £7.35 for 2006-07; and £8.94 for 2007-08.

Energy: Severn Barrage

Question

Asked by Lord Davies of Coity

The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change & Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): As part of a cross-government study to assess the feasibility of harnessing the tidal power of the Severn estuary, the Welsh Assembly Government and the South West of England Regional Development Agency have commissioned a high-level study to assess the potential impact of a Severn tidal power project on the economies of Wales and the south west of England. Possible economic impacts on port operations in the Severn estuary are included in the study.

A strategic environmental assessment (SEA) is also being carried out as part of the feasibility study and includes work to examine the possible impact of power schemes on shipping navigation channels and water density.

Subject to internal review, the economic impact study will be published as part of a public consultation on the power scheme options and SEA scope in early 2009. Options being considered include barrages but are not confined to them.

Energy: Wind Farms

Question

Asked by Lord Truscott

The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change & Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): On 10 December 2007, the Government announced the launch of a strategic environmental assessment (SEA) on a draft plan for up to 25 GW (installed capacity) of new offshore wind farms by 2020. Depending on the results of the SEA and the magnitude of impacts identified, the Government will take a decision on what the acceptable level of offshore wind development is. The supply of offshore wind turbines required up to 2020 will partly depend on the outcome of the SEA and a future decision by the Government, expected in

12 Jan 2009 : Column WA100

spring 2009, on the level of offshore wind generation, and on the size of turbines selected by developers for specific sites.

The Government commissioned Douglas Westwood to assess the impact of supply chain constraints on the deployment of bulk renewable electricity to 2020. The study, published in June 2008, concluded that current demand outstrips supply for offshore turbines and that investment was required in expanding all tiers of the supply chain for offshore wind to meet government objectives. We anticipate that certainty of market scale, location and timing will be provided through the SEA process and allocation of development rights for a pipeline of projects by the Crown Estate. We anticipate that providing this market certainty should trigger investment in new manufacturing and installation capacity for offshore wind in the UK and around Europe, including expansion by existing manufacturers and new market entrants who will come on stream in time for deployment to meet the 2020 target. This should reduce constraints on the supply of turbines to the UK offshore market, reducing lead times as well as reducing costs due to increased competition.

Energy: Wind Generation

Question

Asked by Lord Truscott

The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change & Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): The Government do not set targets on the proportion of renewable energy to be delivered by specific technologies; within the overall framework the Government put in place, the market will need to determine which technologies should be used and then to deploy them. However, an illustrative technology breakdown published alongside the consultation on our renewable energy strategy for meeting the UK's share of the EU target of 20 per cent renewable energy by 2020 includes 10 to 11 per cent of electricity generation coming from onshore and offshore wind farms by 2015.

EU: Emissions Trading Scheme

Question

Asked by Lord Berkeley



12 Jan 2009 : Column WA101

The Financial Services Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Myners): On 19 November 2008 the UK Government held the first auction of carbon allowances. The sale price (clearing price) was £13.61 (€16.15) per allowance. The reserve price set by the Government was below the clearing price. According to the Community Emissions Trading Scheme (Allocation of Allowances for Payment) Scheme 2008, section 19(2), the Government will reveal the reserve price only if the clearing price is less than the reserve price.

As set out in the government response to consultation on proposed UK auction design for use during Phase II, the Government will not provide full details of how the reserve price is calculated until after the first few auctions. The absence of a detailed published methodology ensures an unbiased price discovery during the initial auctions so that participants do not use the reserve price to help set their bids. The reserve price is calculated by applying a discount rate and a markdown to the prevalent secondary market price.

The business process employed to auction UK carbon allowances strongly resembles the widely accepted process used to auction Treasury Gilts. Moreover, in line with the Community Emissions Trading Scheme (Allocation of Allowances for Payment) Regulations 2008, the Treasury has appointed an independent observer to oversee any UK auction of carbon allowances.

European Humanities University

Question

Asked by Lord Wallace of Saltaire

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (Lord Young of Norwood Green): Government resources available to support this type of institution are fully committed. However, we continue to keep the position under review and will look to see if, in future years, we can provide some financial support to this institution.


Next Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page