Mr Michael Spicer : It is estimated that the land area required for a wind farm with an installed capacity of 1200 MW might be between 110 and 140 square miles although there is still considerable uncertainty about this. It is likely that the machines required would be grouped within smaller wind farms, however. Currently, within my Department's research and development programme on wind energy, we are examining the environmental implications and public acceptability of wind farms. The programme is also examining constraints on the United Kingdom's total wind energy resource that would be imposed by such significant environmental factors as national parks, areas designated as being of outstanding natural beauty and urban land.
35. Mr. Douglas : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will make a statement on the progress of negotiations between British Coal and the South of Scotland electricity board with regard to the future of deep mining coal burn in Scotland.
Mr. Michael Spicer : My right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland recently announced that British Coal and the South of Scotland Electricity Board have been able to make substantial progress in their negotiations on a new coal deal. Negotiations on the details of an agreement, including the question of price, are however continuing, and are matters for commercial agreement. Pending completion of the detailed negotiations, the South of Scotland Electricity Board has confirmed that it will continue to take supplies from British Coal at the rate of 2 million tonnes per annum and British Coal has confirmed that it will continue to supply at this rate.
49. Mrs. Fyfe : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what is his latest estimate of where domestic electricity prices in (a) England and Wales and (b) Scotland will stand in 1989-90 in the league table of such prices in the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development countries.
Mr. Michael Spicer : The Electricity Council undertakes an annual survey of electricity prices in 20 countries. This includes domestic electricity prices. On the basis of the latest comparison at 1 July 1988, prices in England and Wales were in the mid-range of domestic prices in the developed world generally. Domestic prices in Scotland are slightly lower than those in England and Wales.
Column 333On current projections of international prices, the United Kingdom will remain in the mid-range of prices after the 1989 tariff revision.
55. Mr. Moss : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what were the changes in real terms of (a) domestic and (b) industrial prices between the periods 1974 to 1979 and 1983 to 1988 ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Michael Spicer : In the last five years of Labour Government, between May 1974 and May 1979, domestic electricity prices rose by 9 per cent. and industrial prices by 6 per cent. in real terms. In the last five years of Conservative Government, between December 1983 and December 1988, domestic electricity prices fell by 9 per cent. and industrial prices by 12 per cent. in real terms.
Mr. Peter Morrison : A total of 125 applications were received for the 212 blocks on offer from groups involving 84 companies. In terms of the number of applications received, this was a large response and has been exceeded in only one other licensing round in the past 25 years. I hope to announce awards later this year, probably in the early summer.
Mr. Michael Spicer : Energy paper 55, published in June 1988, laid out a strategy for encouraging the private sector to become involved in research, development and demonstration activities and eventually take these functions over from Government. The strategy is aimed at ensuring the full and timely commercial development of those renewable technologies shown to be economic, environmentally acceptable and capable of making a contribution to United Kingdom energy supply. It envisages a collaborative programme to the late 1990s involving Government and the manufacturing and energy supply industries to achieve the twin aims of encouraging and promoting the commercialisation of those technologies which are economically attractive, and reducing the uncertainty in the economics of those technologies currently classed as promising but uncertain so that, where possible, they become economic and confidence is created in them.
Already 20 per cent. of the cost of our programme is met by external contributions and we expect this proportion to grow over the next few years as the private sector increases its involvement.
41. Ms. Mowlam : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what is the most up-to-date estimate of the percentage of all quarterly electricity bills sent out by estimation without a meter reading in 1980, 1983, 1986 and 1989.
Mr. Michael Spicer : This is a matter for the electricity supply industry. I have asked the chairman of the Electricity Council to write to the hon. Member with the information requested in respect of England and Wales. The question of estimated electricity bills in Scotland should be pursued through my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland.
Mr. Michael Spicer : My Department has effective research and development programmes in energy efficiency and renewable energy. There is to be a new campaign to improve energy efficiency within Government and the public sector generally. Electricity privatisation will encourage greater efficiency, will maintain the level of non-fossil generation and will encourage the introduction of new, more efficient and less polluting technology including CHP and combined cycle gas turbines.
Such actions, alongside funding of some of the work of the intergovernmental panel on climate change, are prudent now. When scientific understanding of this complex topic improves we, in conjunction with the wider international community, shall be in a position to undertake further appropriate action.
43. Mr. Patnick : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what progress has been made by his Department in exploiting new and renewable sources of energy following the publication in 1988 of "Renewable Energy in the U.K. : The Way Forward".
Mr. Michael Spicer : Since the publication of energy paper 55 in June 1988, 70 projects committing a further £14 million have been initiated as part of our strategy to develop economically attractive and environmentally acceptable renewable sources of energy. These include a number of collaborative projects with industry aimed at encouraging and promoting the commercialisation of those technologies which are economically attractive, and improving technical performance and reducing capital cost for those technologies currently classed as promising but uncertain.
A comprehensive range of promotional literature is now available directed at both lay public audiences to raise general awareness about the prospects for renewable energy, and target professional audiences in particular market sectors to stimulate greater interest in the development of these technologies. Technology transfer plans are now being developed for each technology classed as economically attractive. Over the next year or two, increased effort will be placed on stimulating increased
Column 335industrial and commercial involvement in both the R and D programme and the uptake of economic technologies by industrial and commercial concerns.
47. Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what is his latest estimate of the cost of electricity supplied to the steel industry in England and Wales ; what is the EEC average ; and what is his latest estimate of the position of England and Wales in the EEC league table of electricity prices supplied to the steel industry.
The latest Electricity Council survey of electricity prices in 20 countries, including the EEC, indicates that for a typical high voltage industrial customer electricity prices in England and Wales at 1 July 1988 were in the mid-range of prices in the EEC States and the developed world generally.
Current estimates of industrial electricity prices internationally indicate that England and Wales will remain in the mid-range of prices in the EEC after the 1 April tariff revision.
50. Mr. Harry Greenway : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy by what percentage he expects demands for electricity to increase over the next five years ; how this compares with five, 10, 15, and 20 years ago ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Michael Spicer : In evidence to the Hinkley Point public inquiry, the CEGB estimated that electricity demand would rise by 2.1 per cent. per annum over the period to 1997, which represents a capacity requirement of 53.6 GW. This figure compares with peak capacity demands in 1984 of 41.9 GW ; 1979--42.2 GW ; 1974--40.9 GW and 1969--37.8 GW.
Mr. Peter Morrison : My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State met Commissioner Cardoso e Cunha on 16 March in London. Discussions covered arrangements for common carriage of electricity, prospects for coal in the United Kingdom, the JET project, the renewables and energy efficiency programmes and the Community directive on gas burn in power stations.
52. Mr. Ieuan Wyn Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will indicate the criteria used in determining when a public inquiry should be held into an application to build a nuclear power station in the United Kingdom.
Mr. Michael Spicer : Before reaching his decision on any application for his consent to construct an electricity generating station my right hon. Friend is obliged to hold a public inquiry into the application if a relevant local planning authority has objected to it.
Even if there is no objection from a relevant local planning authority, my right hon. Friend can still call for a public inquiry to be held, if he thinks it appropriate, in the light of other objections received.
Mr. Michael Spicer : Last December the Atomic Energy Authority signed a memorandum of understanding with Rolls-Royce Associates and others to proceed with the design and development of a 300 MW pressurised water reactor known as the safe integrated reactor. The Department is continuing to keep itself informed of developments.
Mr. Michael Spicer : Renewable energy technologies are at an early stage of development and there is great uncertainty about future projections. The most recent estimates of the contribution that could be made by each renewable energy source in the year 2025 have been published in energy paper 55, copies of which are in the Libraries of the House. Energy paper 55 estimates that by the year 2025 renewable energy might provide up to the equivalent of around 24 per cent. of supply electricity requirements if the technologies can be proven and applied commercially. No estimates are available for the years 2000 and 2010. It is Government policy to encourage the maximum exploitation of renewable sources of energy wherever they have prospects of being economically viable and environmentally acceptable.
Column 338Kingdom intended for (a) fusion energy reseach and (b) luminosity use ; and what information he has of the amounts of tritium stockpiled and used for non-military purposes in other OECD countries.
Mr. Michael Spicer : There is no stockpile of tritium in the United Kingdom for fusion research. No central records of commercial stocks of tritium are kept, but users have to be registered under the Radioactive Substances Act 1960 and are limited in the amount of tritium they are allowed to store on their premises. Their records are subject to regular inspections by the Department of the Environment. I have no information concerning overseas stockpiles of tritium.
Mr. Home Robertson : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will give the date of the start of work on the oscillating water column project on Islay, the date of the completion of civil construction work on that project ; and the date of the formal signature by his Department of the papers authorising this work.
Mr. Michael Spicer : My Department announced the construction of the shoreline wave energy project in Islay on 1 July 1987. Construction work was started at the beginning of August 1987. The construction and preliminary monitoring phase was successfully completed by the end of March this year. I announced to the House on 23 March that the next phase of the project, to install an air driven power turbine and generator, will now proceed, subject to contract, on the basis of the data acquired so far.
Mr. Home Robertson : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy (1) if he will list the number and amounts of payments for work on wave energy in which settlement of the invoice by the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority was more than a year after the submission of the invoice ; and if he will give the length of the delay in each case ;
(2) if he will list those contracts on wave energy research in which final signatures of the papers by the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority officials was more than a year after the start of the contract ; and if he will give the length of the delay in each instance.
Mr. Blair : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what will be the cost, in terms of repairs and lost output, of the minor accident at Dungeness B nuclear power station on 5 February, in which a fuel rod fell into the reactor from the refuelling winch ; and for how long the reactor will be out of service.
Mr. Cummings : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy (1) if he will give the projected figure for the import of coal from the Soviet Union for each of the next five years ; and if he will make a statement ;
Column 339(2) if he will give figures for levels of coal imports from the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics for each of the last five years ; and if he will make a statement.
|thousand tonnes ------------------------------------------------ 1984 |11 1985 |23 1986 |48 1987 |89 1988 |375 Source: Her Majesty's Customs and Excise.
In 1988 these imports accounted for 0.3 per cent. of the United Kingdom market for coal. The Government do not make projections of these coal imports.
Mr. Peter Griffiths : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what sum of the grant-in-aid to the Medical Research Council was specifically directed to the study of the problems of sufferers from myalgic encephalomyelitis in the year 1988-89.
Mr. Jackson : The Medical Research Council did not support any research specifically concerning myalgic encephalomyelitis in 1988-89. It did, however, support some work on immune responses to muscles, nerve cells and related structures which may be relevant to the understanding and treatment of this condition. The Medical Research Council is always ready to consider soundly-based scientific proposals for funding of new research, in competition with other applications.
Mr. Henderson : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science which universities, polytechnics and colleges of technology had departments of marine engineering in 1968 and in 1988 ; and how many undergraduate and postgraduate students each department had in 1968 and 1988.
Mr. Jackson : Figures for 1988-89 are not yet available. In 1987-88 there were no postgraduate or first degree students studying marine engineering at polytechnics and colleges in England, although there were 471 sub-degree higher education students ; information for 1968 is not available. Published statistics for university students studying mechanical engineering include students studying marine engineering and are shown in the following table. Comprehensive information for individual departments of marine engineering is not readily available.
|c|University students studying mechanical engineering<1>|c| |1968-89 United Kingdom|1987-88 Great Britain |universities |universities -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Full-time Postgraduate |698 |875 Undergraduate |5,100 |5,872 Part-time Postgraduate |445 |461 Undergraduate |38 |20 <1>Includes marine engineering.
Mr. Hinchliffe : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what safeguards exist under the provisions for delegated schools budgets to ensure that governors do not misuse their positions in respect of the placing of contracts with private companies.
Mr. Butcher : Governers are free to place contracts with whichever company offers the service which best meets their school's needs. There are a number of safeguards : the Education (School Government) Regulations prevent individual governors from participating in any decision in which they have a pecuniary interest ; governors acting in bad faith over the placing of contracts, whether for gain or otherwise, would not be protected from personal liability ; and the use of improper influence in the placing of contracts would also constitute grounds for the withdrawal of delegated responsibility.
Mr Andrew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science (1) what arrangements he intends to make for consultation on the forthcoming publication of Government proposals on student unions ;
(2) when he intends to publish the Government's proposals arising from its survey of student unions ; and what form the publication will take.
Mr. Jackson : My Department has prepared a factual analysis of responses to the survey of student unions announced by my right hon. Friend in his reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Thurrock (Mr. Janman) on 18 April 1988 at column 292. The analysis will be sent shortly for comment to the Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals, the Committee of Directors of Polytechnics, the Standing Conference of Principals, the Association of Principals of Colleges and the National Union of Students. Thereafter, it will be published. As I indicated in my reply to my hon. Friend the member for Basildon (Mr. Amess) on 17 February 1989 at column 415 , the Government will now consider what action might be taken and in due course will consult all those concerned. The form of the consultations will depend on the nature of the conclusions reached.
Ms. Armstrong : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what is the average rise in salary for each of the last 10 years expressed in relation to the rise in average professional earnings for (a) scale 1 primary school teachers, (b) the average primary school teacher and (c) the heads of primary schools.
|c|Increases in average full-time primary teachers' salaries [relative to increases in professional earnings]|c| [TITRE -------------------------------------------------------- As at 1 April 1980 |36.9 |+8.7 |36.0 |+7.9 |40.2 |+11.2 1981 |9.0 |-7.7 |9.9 |-6.9 |6.0 |-10.2 1982 |7.6 |-0.2 |8.0 |+0.2 |7.4 |-0.4 1983 |5.8 |-2.3 |6.7 |-1.5 |3.9 |-4.1 1984 |5.7 |-1.1 |6.3 |-0.5 |5.1 |-1.7 1985 |7.3 |+0.5 |7.7 |+0.8 |6.8 |0 1986 |7.3 |-2.1 |7.7 |-1.7 |7.1 |-2.3 1987 |16.5 |+7.4 |- |- |19.9 |+10.6 1988 |4.2 |-6.3 |- |- |4.2 |-6.3 1989<4> |7.2 |- |- |- |7.5 |- <1>Based on the database of teacher records and relevant salary scales. Figures take account of salary drift and incentive allowances, and include the salaries of heads and deputies. <2>Data is from the average gross earnings of full-time employees for combined occupation groups II, III & V, new earnings survey. Data for 1 April 1989 not yet available. <3>Scale One teachers were incorporated on to the main scale on October 1987. <4>Assuming adoption of the recommendations in the second report of the Interim Advisory Committee on School Teachers' Pay and Conditions.
Ms. Armstrong : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what is the average primary schoolteacher's rise in salary for each of the last 10 years in absolute cash terms, in real terms and in relation to the rise in average earnings.
|c|Increases in average full-time primary teachers' salaries|c| Annual percentage increase: |actual<1> |in real terms<2> |in relation to average |earnings<3> ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- As at 1 April 1980 |36.9 |12.5 |+11.4 1981 |9.0 |-2.7 |-3.9 1982 |7.6 |-1.6 |-1.6 1983 |5.8 |1.7 |-2.6 1984 |5.7 |0.5 |-2.2 1985 |7.3 |0.4 |0 1986 |7.3 |4.2 |-0.6 1987 |16.5 |11.7 |+8.2 1988 |4.2 |0.3 |-5.1 1989<4> |7.2 |- |- <1>Based on database of teacher records and relevant salary scales. Figures take account of salary drift and incentive allowances, and include the salaries of heads and deputies. <2>Derived from the retail price index. Data for 1 April 1989 not yet available. <3>Data is from the average gross earnings of full-time employees (all occupations), new earnings survey. Data for 1 April 1989 not yet available. <4>Assuming adoption of the recommendations in the second report of the Interim Advisory Committee on School Teachers' Pay and Conditions.
Mr. Straw : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what will be the estimated number of people graduating with first degrees in each of the years 1989 to 1995 ; and what number and what proportion of these
Column 342totals for each year will need to be recruited into teaching to maintain current pupil to teacher ratios, on the assumption that relative pay and wastage continues at current levels.
Mr. Kenneth Baker [holding answer 6 April 1989] : The latest available projections of the total numbers of first degree graduates in Great Britain, including Open university and overseas graduates, were published in the Government's expenditure plans 1989-90 to 1991-92 (Cm. 612). The numbers are shown below.
|Thousands ------------------------------ 1989 |133 1990 |135 1991 |136 1992 |138
The proportions of these graduates who will need to be recruited into teaching in order to maintain current pupil-teacher ratios will depend in part on the number of recruits from sources other than newly trained graduates.
Mr. Chris Patten : Environmental aspects of aid, including our commitment to sustainable development and such specific matters as rain forest conservation, are frequently raised by hon. Members and members of the public, as well as by the non-governmental organisations with which we have regular contact.
Mr. Chris Patten : We have committed about £80 million to forestry projects currently underway. We are encouraging aid recipients to direct more of our aid to forestry and we are increasing our support through British charities and for forestry research. We shall also encourage other donors, including multilateral agencies, to give more support to forestry.
Mr. Chris Patten : We are increasing the number of awards available for undergraduate level studies by disadvantaged South Africans, some of whom will continue to be sponsored on courses in this country under the British undergraduate fellowship scheme.