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Mr. Michael Spicer : No expenditure on publicising the new electricity companies has so far been incurred by Government. Expenditure by the industry is a matter for the industry itself. The total costs which will be incurred in the privatisation of the electricity supply industry will depend upon many factors that have not yet been decided.
22. Mr. Cummings : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what is his most recent estimate of slippage in the timetable for the privatisation of the electricity supply industry ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Michael Spicer : The electricity industry will be privatised within this Parliament ; the area boards will be offered for sale in autumn 1990 and the two generating companies will be offered for sale in the first half of 1991. Exact dates will be set nearer the time.
75. Mr. Kirkwood : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy whether the recently agreed package of measures between the Department and the electricity industry are intended to lead to increased competition after the privatisation of the electricity industry.
Mr. Dobson : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what is the most recent estimated date for vesting day for each part of the electricity supply industry, and for the flotation of each, respectively.
Mr. Wakeham : The Government intend to implement the new structure of the industry at the end of March 1990 ; the area boards will be offered for sale in autumn 1990 and the two generating companies will be offered for sale in the first half of 1991. Exact dates will be set nearer the time.
Mr. Dobson : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what is the total amount spent by his Department to date on outside advice on the privatisation of electricty ; and which companies have received £1 million or more.
Mr. Wakeham : The total cost to my Department of all advisers working on electricity privatisation amounted to £0.8 million in 1987- 88 and £5.5 million in 1988-89. In addition, there is provision of £26.5 million relevant expenses in 1989-90. Detailed information about contracts with advisers is commercially confidential.
million tonnes Calendar year |Oil |Gas (coal equivalent)|Coal -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1973 |108.2 |44.2 |133.3 1974 |101.6 |52.9 |117.9 1975 |89.9 |55.4 |122.2 1976 |89.0 |58.8 |123.6 1977 |90.0 |62.8 |124.0 1978 |91.4 |65.1 |120.5 1979 |91.3 |71.1 |129.4 1980 |78.3 |71.1 |123.5 1981 |72.7 |72.1 |118.4 1982 |72.9 |71.7 |111.0 1983 |70.4 |74.8 |111.5 1984 |87.7 |76.5 |77.3 1985 |76.2 |82.3 |105.4 1986 |75.6 |83.6 |114.2 1987 |73.7 |85.9 |115.9 1988 |78.3 |81.5 |111.5 Source: Digest of United Kingdom Energy Statistics, Tables 2 (natural gas), 3 (oil) and 14 (coal)
Mr. Michael Spicer : The Government have announced their intention to privatise the coal industry in the next Parliament. The timing of privatisation will depend on, among other things, the industry's progress towards achieving a viable size and level of costs.
Mr. Peter Morrison : The level of exploration and appraisal drilling so far this year compares favourably with that achieved in the two best previous years on record, 1984 and 1988. The numbers of wells started up to the end of October in each of these three years was as follows :
|Exploration|Appraisal |Total ------------------------------------------------------------ 1984 |91 |69 |160 1988 |77 |74 |151 1989 |76 |65 |141
Mr. Wakeham : Earlier this year my Department asked the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority to review the CEGB's estimates of decommissioning costs. In drawing up its accounts for 1988-89 the Central Electricity Generating Board will take account of both this work and its own further studies.
38. Mr. Livsey : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what information he has as to how many nuclear power stations have been (a) ordered, and (b) completed within Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries within the last five years.
45. Mr. David Nicholson : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what is his estimate of the amount of greenhouse gases that would be produced if all the United Kingdom's nuclear reactors were decommissioned and the replacement demand met entirely by the burning of fossil fuels.
70. Mr. Hayes : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will estimate the amount of greenhouse gases that would be produced if all the United Kingdom's nuclear reactors were decommissioned and demand met entirely by the burning of fossil fuels.
Mr. Peter Morrison : Replacing nuclear power by electricity produced from fossil fuels would increase the output of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas produced by the electricity sector, by about 53 million tonnes per annum or 25 per cent. over current levels.
Mr. Malcolm Bruce : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what percentage of the population and how many in actual numbers, live within 15 miles of a nuclear power station in (a) England, (b) Scotland and (c) Wales.
Mr. Michael Spicer [holding answer 6 November 1989] : The percentage and number of the population who live within 25 km (approximately 15.5 miles) of a nuclear power station, based on the 1981 census of population figures, are as follows :
|Per cent.|Number ---------------------------------------- England |7 |3,292,000 Scotland |7 |356,000 Wales |3 |85,000
Mr. Peter Morrison : Manufacturers and consumer associations already publish energy consumption data for electrical appliances which facilitate the choice of the more energy efficient models. My energy efficiency office has commissioned a study on the energy efficiency of electrical appliances and we will consider the matter further when we have received the report of this study.
Over the last 10 years, the energy ratio has improved from 1.24 tonnes of coal equivalent per £1,000 gross domestic product in 1979 to 1.01 tonnes per £1,000 in 1988, an average reduction in energy intensity in excess of 2 per cent. per year.
Mr. Paice : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what evidence is available on the extent to which the seven highest energy-using industries have become more energy efficient during the last five years ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Peter Morrison : The latest information comes from the five- yearly purchase inquiries conducted with a sample of 10,000 United Kingdom manufacturing sites and establishments by the Business Statistics Office. A further survey is now under way.
The table shows the difference in energy consumption as a percentage of gross output for the seven most energy-intensive industries in the United Kingdom for the years 1979 and 1984. The figures are published in "Industrial Energy Markets : No. 9 Energy Efficiency Series".
Gross outpPercentage of output spent on Energy Consumption |1984 |1979 |1984 |£ million ------------------------------------------------------------ Basic Chemicals |7,224 |7.84 |6.75 Iron and Steel |7,208 |8.74 |7.47 Non Ferrous Metals |3,965 |4.90 |<1>5.30 Cement |3,335 |9.66 |9.13 Paper and Board |1,942 |11.88 |9.59 Bricks and Ceramics |1,738 |10.35 |10.70 Glass |1,328 |10.29 |<2>11.32 <1> There has been a change to electric melting for quality control, environmental and other reasons leading to lower energy consumption but higher cost. <2> During this five-year period manpower costs more than halved due to intense rationalisation of plants, and other costs were also reduced-thus masking a real decrease in energy consumption.
It can be seen that in several industries there have been considerable improvements in energy efficiency. A number of individual examples of considerable increases in energy efficiency in the tabulated industries are being documented under the Energy Efficiency Office "Best Practice" programme and will be available during the coming year.
15. Mr. O'Brien : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy how many households who are on low incomes have been insulated to conserve heat under the energy efficiency scheme since March ; how many are budgeted for in the current financial year ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Peter Morrison : Some 37,000 low-income households benefited from the insulation services of community insulation projects in the first quarter of this financial year. For the year as a whole I expect to see not less than 140,000 homes to benefit.
56. Mr. Charles Wardle : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what representations he has received about the contribution of the burning of fossil fuels to the greenhouse effect and global warming.
Mr. Peter Morrison : I have received a number of representations on this matter. The Select Committee on Energy has published a report on the energy policy implications of the greenhouse effect, to which the Government responded on 8 November.
17. Dr. Alan W. Williams : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy when he last met the Government's adviser on electricity privatisation regarding the cost and viability of the PWR programme ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Peter Morrison : The most recent estimates of the potential contribution from renewable energy sources were published in Energy Paper 55 "Renewable Energy in the UK--The Way Forward", copies of which are in the Libraries of the House.
The Government intend to set orders for up to 600 MW of renewable energy capacity during the 1990s, in addition to whatever is contracted in the initial obligation. The proposed levels of these special tranches will be kept under review to ensure that when the obligations are made they take into account the potential availability of renewable capacity.
Mr. Peter Morrison : My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State met representatives of the United Kingdom Offshore Operators Association on 8 November, and a number of North sea-related issues were raised.
Mr. Peter Morrison : My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State met Sir Frank Gibb, chairman of the Severn Tidal Power Group on 18 October to discuss the general report of the Severn barrage project. Over the next two years further work on the Severn barrage will be undertaken. This will include some site specific environmental work and a study of the organisation and financing issues for a barrage. The work to be undertaken immediately is under discussion with the Severn Tidal Power Group in the light of its report.
27. Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what is his most recent estimate of the effect of the electricity supply industry on future employment in the British coal industry ; and if he will make a statement.
Column 99customers including the privatised electricity generators. Employment in the industry will depend both on demand for coal and future productivity gains. It is for British Coal to determine what its manpower requirements are and how it will meet them.
Mr. Peter Morrison : Exploration and appraisal drilling remain close to record levels and expenditure on new developments continues to recover following the collapse in oil prices in 1986. These results demonstrate the success of the policies we have pursued to ensure that investment in the United Kingdom continental shelf is encouraged and will be maintained in the future.
Mr. Peter Morrison : I am confident that under this Government's policies the United Kingdom sector of the North sea will remain a substantial producer of oil and gas well into the next century. Exploration and appraisal activity remains close to record levels and expenditure on new developments continues to recover following the collapse of oil prices in 1986.