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Mr. Michael Spicer : The negotiation of new coal purchase arrangements is primarily a commercial matter for the industries. The announcement of the details of such arrangements, once concluded, will also primarily be a matter for them.

Coal Mining (Nottinghamshire)

32. Mr. Haynes : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what is his most up-to-date estimate of the impact of electricity privatisation on employment in mining in the Nottinghamshire coalfield.

Mr. Michael Spicer : Negotiations between the generators and British Coal are continuing. Following the conclusion of these negotiations, it will be for British Coal to estimate what effects there may be on its operations.

Fossil Fuels (Levy)

33. Mr. Patchett : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what recent representations he has received seeking a levy on the combustion of any fossil fuel.

Mr. Michael Spicer : None.

Nuclear Power (Privatisation)

34. Mr. James Lamond : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what is his most up-to-date estimate of the cost of transferring nuclear power stations to the private sector.

Dr. Kim Howells : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy when he expects to announce the discount on


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present net replacement cost value of £9.3 billion of the nuclear power stations of England and Wales, required to achieve a transfer to the private sector.

Mr. Michael Spicer : I refer the hon. Members to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Vale of Glamorgan (Mr. Smith) earlier today.

Gas Tariffs

35. Mr. Rost : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy when he expects to meet the Director General of Gas Supply to discuss tariffs proposed by British Gas.

Mr. Hind : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he has any plans to meet the Director General of Gas Supply to discuss the gas price tariff; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Peter Morrison : I regularly meet the Director General of Gas Supply and discuss a range of matters of mutual interest.

Electricity Generation

36. Mr. Wood : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what is the industry forecast for future electricity generating capacity before the year 2000.

Mr. Michael Spicer : The final year of the load forecast which the electricity supply industry (England and Wales) adopted in October 1988 is 1997-98. The forecast of unrestricted demand for that year is 56.5 GW.

Coal Imports

37. Mr. Skinner : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy when he next expects to meet the chairman of British Coal regarding coal imports; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Michael Spicer : My right hon. Friend and I meet the chairman of British Coal regularly to discuss all aspects of the coal industry.

Electricity Privatisation

39. Mr. Clelland : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he has fully evaluated the value for money to be obtained from the £26.5 million allocated for advisers fees on electricity privatisation and the expenditure on departmental staff of comparable skills.

42. Mr. Rooker : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what steps he is taking to ensure that value for money is being obtained from the £26.5 million to be spent on advisers' fees to promote electricity privatisation.

Mr. Michael Spicer : The Department carefully evaluates the costs and benefits associated with each item of expenditure and seeks to negotiate the best possible price with advisers before entering into a contractual relationship.

45. Mr. Mullin : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what representations he has received from environmental or conservation organisations on the privatisation of the electricity supply industry.

Mr. Michael Spicer : I have received a number of representations.


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Fluidised Bed Combustion

40. Mr. Allen MacKay : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will make a further statement on the Grimethorpe fluidised bed combustion proposal.

Mr. Michael Spicer : My Department is currently working with British Coal to put together a substantial financial package involving both private and public sector funding, to carry forward the proposed experiments at Grimethorpe as part of the programme to develop the topping cycle concept. Once the outcome of these discussions is known, I will make a further statement.

Energy Efficiency

41. Mr. Martyn Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what priority he proposes to give to the encouragement of energy efficiency and conservation.

Mr. Peter Morrison : The Government attach high priority to the promotion of energy efficiency through the work of the Energy Efficiency Office. Our proposals for the electricity supply industry will give further impetus to the promotion of energy efficiency, in particular through the duties they place on the Director General of Electricity Supply.

Greenhouse Effect

43. Mr. David Shaw : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what is the total number of nuclear reactors operating worldwide and the total amount of electricity demand met by them ; and if he will estimate the total quantity of greenhouse gases that would be produced as a result of replacing them with coal-fired power stations.

Mr. Michael Spicer : I understand from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that at the end of 1988 there were 429 nuclear reactors operating worldwide. Comprehensive figures for electricity generation are not yet available for 1988, but, in 1987, nuclear power generated 1,625 billion kw hours of electricity, equivalent to the output from 211 pressurised water reactors (PWRs) of the Sizewell B type.

It is difficult to be precise when estimating the increase in greenhouse gas production if nuclear power is replaced by coal worldwide but, on current figures, carbon dioxide (CO ) output would increase by about 1.3 billion tonnes per year, or 35 per cent. of the present global contribution due to coal-fired electricity generation.

Thermal Efficiency

46. Mr. Jacques Arnold : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what improvements in thermal efficiency have been achieved in the past 10 years.

Mr. Peter Morrison : The efficiency of the nation's energy use has improved greatly over the past 10 years. In 1978 the United Kingdom consumed 1.23 tonnes of coal equivalent per £1,000 of GDP (at 1985 factor cost). In 1988 this had fallen to 1 tonne of coal equivalent per £1,000 of GDP in the same price terms, a reduction of 18.7 per cent. over the period.


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Nuclear Power Stations (Decommissioning)

47. Mr. Malcolm Bruce : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what representations he has received about the decommissioning of nuclear power stations ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Michael Spicer : I have received a number of representations relating to various aspects of the decommissioning of nuclear power stations in recent months.

British Coal

48. Mr. Douglas : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will make a statement on the issues he expects to raise when he next meets the chairman of British Coal.

Mr. Michael Spicer : My right hon. Friend and I meet the chairman of British Coal regularly to discuss all aspects of the coal industry.

Power Stations

49. Mr. Cox : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will list the power stations now being built in the United Kingdom.

Mr. Michael Spicer : Sizewell B PWR power station is at present under construction.

Landfill Gases

50. Mr. Irvine : To ask the Secretaryof State for Energy what recent assessment his Department has made of the possibilities for the generation of electricity from landfill gases ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Michael Spicer : There is great uncertainty about projections for renewable sources of energy. Based on data given in "Energy Paper 55-- "Renewable Energy in the UK : The Way Forward", it has been estimated that by the year 2025 up to 4.5 per cent. of current energy requirements might come from a wide range of biomass sources if the diverse technologies involved can be successfully developed and applied.

It is not yet possible to assess with any certainty the contribution which electricity generation from landfill gases will make towards this proportion. However, there are indications that approximately 200 MW of landfill gas-fired generating capacity would be operating by the turn of the century.

Oil Production

53. Mr. Hardy : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what was the volume of United Kingdom oil production in 1988 and his estimate of production in 1989, 1990 and 1991.

Mr. Peter Morrison : The figures requested are set out in my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State's report to Parliament, "Development of the Oil and Gas Resources of the United Kingdom" (the Brown Book), published in April 1989.

Coal-fired Generation

Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretaryof State for Energy if he will bring forward proposals to require that a proportion of electricity be generated by coal-fired power stations.


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Mr. Michael Spicer : No.

Energy Conservation

Mr. Macdonald : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will make a statement on the steps he is taking to promote energy conservation.

Mr. Peter Morrison : I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to my hon. Friend for Devon, North (Mr. Speller) and the hon. Member for Nottingham, North (Mr. Allen) on 15 May, Official Report, column 105.

CO Emissions

Mr. Barron : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what is his Department's estimate of the contribution that nuclear power will make to the required halving in United Kingdom CO emissions by the year 2025.

Mr. Michael Spicer : There is no requirement on the United Kingdom to reduce the future emissions of carbon dioxide or any other energy- related greenhouse gas. The course of any necessary future action should become clearer when the intergovernmental panel on climate change (IPCC) reports in autumn 1990. Until then it would not be wise for the United Kingdom to act unilaterally in such a global matter.

In the meantime, current policies in the energy field are pointing in the right direction to curtail the growth of these gases. The encouragement of cost effective energy efficiency measures, the development of renewable energy resources, the support of diversified supply options such as nuclear (which emits almost no CO ) in the Electricity Bill, are a firm basis for any future action. The United Kingdom's call for the strengthening of the Montreal protocol on CFCs will spur action on the most powerful of greenhouse gases.

Mr. Colvin : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what proportion of the United Kingdom's carbon dioxide emissions is caused by coal and oil-fired power stations.

Mr. Michael Spicer : Emissions from coal and oil-fired power stations account for about one third of the total United Kingdom emissions from non-biological sources.

Least-cost Options

Mr. Speller : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will make it his policy to increase support for least-cost options to meet energy demand.

Mr. Parkinson : The Government believe that, provided market barriers are removed, market forces are the best way to meet energy demand at least cost. Our proposals for privatisation of the electricity supply industry, and the work of the Energy Efficiency Office, are designed to tackle and remove market barriers.

Efficiency and Conservation

Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what discussions he has had recently with the director designate of the Office of Electricity Regulation on the priority to be given to energy efficiency and conservation.

Mr. Michael Spicer : My noble Friend the Parliamentary Under- Secretary of State discussed energy


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efficiency issues with Professor Littlechild specifically on 6 June and generally on subsequent occasions. They agreed that the Office of Electricity Regulation and the Energy Efficiency Office would establish mechanisms for close co-operation on matters of common interest, both at national and regional level. I welcome these arrangements, which will reinforce the important work which both organisations will be doing to promote energy efficiency.

Sulphur Emissions

Mr. Harry Greenway : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what will be spent in the next financial year in overcoming the problem of sulphur emissions from electricity power stations ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Michael Spicer : This is an operational matter for the CEGB. I have asked the chairman of the board to write to my hon. Friend.

Nuclear Generation

Mr. Greg Knight : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what proportion of electricity is generated by nuclear power in (a) France, (b) Belgium, (c) Sweden, (d) Switzerland, (e) Finland, (f) West Germany, (g) Spain and (h) the United Kingdom.

Mr. Michael Spicer : The latest available published information (1987) is as follows :

(a) France 70.1 per cent.; (b) Belgium 62.2 per cent.; (c) Sweden 45.9 per cent.; (d) Switzerland 38.4 per cent.; (e) Finland 36.7 per cent.; (f) West Germany 31.2 per cent.; (g) Spain 30.9 per cent.; (h) the United Kingdom 18.2 per cent.

Source : "Energy Statistics 1986-87" (OECD/IEA).

Mr. Graham Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy whether he has any proposals to require that a minimum percentage of electricity distributed by the electricity boards will come from electricity produced by nuclear generation.

Mr. Michael Spicer : Clause 34 of the Electricity Bill permits the Secretary of State to make orders to require public electricity suppliers to have available to them a certain minimum amount of non-fossil generating capacity. This is intended to encourage all economically viable and environmentally acceptable non-fossil sources. There is no intention to restrict such orders solely to nuclear generation.

Uranium

Mr. Vaz : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will request the Euratom safeguards authorities to re-designate all N-coded uranium imported to the United Kingdom since 1978 with a P code.

Mr. Michael Spicer : In compliance with the terms of the Euratom treaty, it is not for the Government to seek to change the coding placed on imported nuclear materials by the Euratom safeguards authorities.

White Papers

Mr. Steinberg : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if, for each of the last three White Papers issued by his Department, for which legislation has been started, he will state the time elapsed between their publication and the


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First Readings of any Bills connected with them ; and if he will do the same for the last three White Papers issued by his Department prior to May 1979.

Mr. Parkinson : Only one such White Paper has been issued by my Department since 1979. This was the White Paper "Privatising Electricity" (Cm. 322, 25 February 1988). The Electricity Bill had its First Reading on 30 November 1988. It is not for me to answer for the record of the last Government in this matter, but the information requested should be available in the Library of the House and the Official Report.

Nuclear Power

Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what is the magawatt equivalent of the 15 per cent. to 20 per cent. range of electricity to be provided by nuclear power, as specified in the Official Report, 5 April, column 275 ; and if each area electricity board will have to accept this range.

Mr. Michael Spicer : The non-fossil fuel obligation will be set for each public electricity supply company in England and Wales later this year, taking into account its size and pattern of demand.

Mines (Capital Investment)

Mr. Cummings : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will list the capital investments in the following mines for the year 1989-90 (a) Murton, (b) Easington, (c) Dawdon, (d) Vane Tempest, (e) Wearmouth, (f) Westo and (g) Ellington.

Mr. Michael Spicer : These are matters for British Coal. I have asked the chairman to write direct to the hon. Member.

Coal-fired Power Stations

Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will list by year for the last 10 years, the tonnage level of purchases from (a) British Coal and (b) other sources of coal suppliers for use at power stations to be allocated to (i) National Power and (ii) Power Gen.

Mr. Michael Spicer : Deliveries of coal to individual power stations are a matter for the CEGB. I will ask the chairman to write to the hon. Member.

Energy Sources

Mr. Adley : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what assessment his Department has made on the question of environmentally comparable energy sources ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Michael Spicer : The chief scientist group at the energy technology support unit have carried out for my Department a number of appraisals of energy sources and their environmental impact is one of the range of factors assessed.

A wide-ranging appraisal of most energy sources and technologies relevant to the United Kingdom was reported in "Energy Paper 54" and specific assessments of alternative energy resources such as "Hot Dry Rocks" ETSU-R- 34, "Bioethanol as a Transport Fuel" ETSU-R-44 and "Synthetic Fuel Options for Road Transport Applications" ETSU-R-33 have been published.


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Mining Subsidence

Mr. Heddle : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will publish in the Official Report, for each year for which figures are available, the cost of compensation and repairs for coal mining subsidence damage.

Mr. Michael Spicer : Actual cash expenditure by British Coal during each of the last three financial years is as follows :


          |£ million          

------------------------------

1986-87   |54.5               

1987-88   |48.9               

1988-89   |43.1               

Desulphurisation

Sir John Farr : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy when he expects the first power station in the east midlands will be equipped with flue gas desulphurisation equipment ; and when such equipment will be available for use in power stations in the Trent valley.

Mr. Michael Spicer : This is an operational matter for the CEGB. I have asked the chairman to write direct to my hon. Friend.

Low-wattage Light Bulbs

Mr. Stern : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy whether his Department has made any estimate of the level to which the unit price of electricity to the private consumer would have to increase to make it economic for all consumers to switch to low-wattage light bulbs.

Mr. Peter Morrison : Low-energy light bulbs already offer worthwhile savings to domestic consumers at current electricity prices. Their extra initial cost is more than compensated for by much longer lifetimes and lower electricity consumption.

Landfill Gases

Mr. Malcolm Bruce : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy how many landfill sites have been identified by his Department where biodegradable wastes could produce significant volumes of biogas for commercial exploitation ; how many sites are currently extracting biogas commercially ; and what is the volume in coal tonnes equivalent he estimates can be exploited from British landfill sites.

Mr. Michael Spicer : A recent estimate, made on behalf of my Department, has identified 438 sites where landfill gas from biodegradable wastes could be exploited commercially. Of this total, some 24 sites are already extracting and exploiting landfill gas and producing an energy equivalent of 0.16 million tonnes coal equivalent (mtce) annually. While there is great uncertainty about projections for renewable sources of energy, it is possible that this amount could more than double by 1992, and reach around 1.5 mtce by the turn of the century.

Gas Prices

Mr. Haynes : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will take remedial action to alleviate the rise in interruptible gas prices following the removal of the ability


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of users to negotiate individual contracts, consequent upon the implementation of the Monopolies and Mergers Commission's recommendation to publish gas price schedules.

Mr. Peter Morrison : The Director General of Gas Supply is responsible for ensuring that British Gas plc operates within the terms of its authorisation, as modified to give effect to the MMC's recommendations. Mr. McKinnon is at present in discussion with British Gas on a number of points concerning the structure and operation of the gas price schedule. However, the level of interruptible gas prices is a matter for British Gas.

Petrol Prices

Mr. Hunter : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what has been the percentage change in the average pump price of four star or premium petrol, net of retailers' margin, duty and taxes, between 1959 and 1988, measured against the retail prices index and in constant money terms.

Mr. Peter Morrison : The percentage changes in the price of four star petrol (that is, premium), net of duty and taxes, over the period between 1959 and 1988, are as follows :


                                |Per cent.          

----------------------------------------------------

Petrol price (money of the day) |407                

RPI                             |769                

Petrol price deflated by RPI    |-42                

The Department of Energy does not have data on retailers' margins.

Mr. Hunter : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what has been the percentage change in the average price of four star and premium petrol, net of duty and taxes (a) between 1960 and 1988, (b) between 1970 and 1988 and (c) between 1980 and 1988, measured against the retail price index and in constant money terms.

Mr. Peter Morrison : The percentage changes in the price of four star petrol (that is, premium), net of duty and taxes, over the relevant periods, are as follows :


                          |Petrol price (in money of|RPI                      |Petrol price deflated by                           

                          |the day)                                           |RPI                                                

                          |Per cent.                |Per cent.                |Per cent.                                          

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1960 to 1988              |414                      |756                      |-40                                                

1970 to 1988              |453                      |478                      |-4                                                 

1980 to 1988              |-19                      |60                       |-49                                                

Flow Charts

Mr. Malcolm Bruce : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy(1) if he will indicate when the last flow chart showing United Kingdom energy flows was produced ; and if he intends to issue a new chart with the latest figures ;

(2) if he will provide 1988 figures for the information which was provided by the 1983 energy flow chart.

Mr. Parkinson : The last chart showing United Kingdom energy flows was produced in 1987, and was based on data for 1986. The flow chart is produced every three years ; the next chart is scheduled for publication in


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