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Mr. Peter Walker [holding answer 5 December 1989] : My Department received 2,997 letters from hon. Members representing Welsh constituencies during the 1988-89 parliamentary Session. Replies were sent, on average, 17 working days after receipt.


Market Research

Mr. Blunkett : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy how many market research and sample surveys were carried out by or for his Department in the last 12 months ; what was the cost of each ; what was the total cost ; how many were carried out in-house ; how many were carried out for his Department by outside organisations ; and what percentage of the total expenditure was paid to outside organisations.

Mr. Wakeham : All 46 surveys carried out for my Department in the last year were placed with outside organisations at a total cost of £705,000. Individual amounts are commercially confidential.

Inside Sellafield"

Dr. Thomas : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will seek to obtain for his Department's library from Channel Four television or Pip Limited a copy of (a) the transcript and (b) the videotape of the programme "Inside Sellafield" broadcast on 9 November.

Mr. Wakeham : No.

Retired Miners

Mr. Cummings : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy how many (a) retired miners, (b) miners retired early through ill health and (c) miners made redundant, are in receipt of fuel or cash in lieu of allowances ; and how many widows are in receipt of fuel or cash in lieu of allowances.

Mr. Michael Spicer : Concessionary fuel is a matter for the British Coal Corporation. I have asked the chairman to write to the hon. Member.

Greenhouse Effect

Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will make a year-by-year projection for the period of 1990 to 2010 on the likely introduction of gas-fired power plants for electricity production, by mine output ; and what contribution this will make to mitigation of the greenhouse global warming effect.

Mr. Michael Spicer : It is for the electricity industry to determine the type and amount of plant needed to meet expected demand. Gas-fired generating plant will have a contribution to make to reduction in emission of carbon dioxide, one of the greenhouse gases.

Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy, pursuant to paragraph 1.6 of Her Majesty's Government's response, HC611, to the Energy Committee's fourth

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special report on energy policy implications of the greenhouse effect, if he will specify what is meant by bottom-up pressure of sensible ideas ; and how he defines sensible ideas in this context.

Mr. Peter Morrison : In the context of research relating to the greenhouse effect, it is appropriate that objectives should be specified clearly, in advance, before projects are funded. The scientific and engineering community continues to put forward a variety of suggestions for research, which can be appraised against appropriate objectives. These suggestions represent a bottom-up pressure of ideas. Those proposals which can make a contribution to our scientific understanding, or to possible ways of dealing with the consequences of the greenhouse effect, are examples of sensible ideas.


Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if his Department, or the energy technology support unit at Harwell, is currently conducting any collaborative research with the Swedish National Energy Administration ; and whether there are any plans for future collaboration.

Mr. Peter Morrison : The primary vehicle for collaborative research with Sweden is under the auspices of International Energy Agency. Both the United Kingdom and Sweden are very active within the Agency and there is collaboration on a large number of topics, including, coal combustion, solar heating and cooling and wind energy. In addition, separated agreements exist between the Swedish national energy administration and the energy technology support unit on research, development and demonstration of bioenergy and with my Department on the energy database. My Department is always receptive to opportunities for appropriate research and development collaboration.

Collaboration on geothermal hot dry rocks took place in 1986 when my Department funded and participated in a viscous stimulation of a 500m hole drilled in Sweden.

Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what publications produced by (a) the energy research group and (b) the energy and environment research unit of the Open university are in his departmental library ; and if he will make a statement on the utility of Open university energy research publications in informing his policies.

Mr. Wakeham : The Department of Energy's library holds the following publications of the Open university energy research group :

Combined heat and power : a discussion of Energy paper 20--R. Armson. 1977.

A critique of the electricity industry. 1976.

A dynamic physical energy model of the United Kingdom--M. A. Barrett. 1982.

DYPHEMO applications : simulation of UK energy systems with a dynamic physical energy model--M. Barrett. 1982

Energy analysis of the Report on the Census of Production--D. A. Cooper, P. F. Chapman and N. D. Mortimer. 1975.

The energy consumer's handbook--G. Hammond and C. Russell. 1980. Energy costs of delivered energy, UK 1968--P. F. Chapman. 1973. The energy costs of producing copper and aluminium from primary sources--P. F. Chapman. 1973.

Energy costs of road and rail freight transport, UK 1968--N. D. Mortimer. 1974.

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Energy in the home. 1978.

Energy in the home : guide to the course : unit 1, Fuel for thought ; unit 2, The balance of power. 1978.

Energy in the home : unit 3, A matter of degree ; unit 4, The burning question. 1978.

Energy in the home : unit 5, Baths and draughts ; unit 6, Windows and walls. 1978.

Energy in the home : unit 7, Roofs and floors ; unit 8, Look before you leap. 1978.

Energy requirements for the conversion of coal into liquid fuel--D. F. Hemming 1977.

Energy requirements of North Sea oil production--D. F. Hemming. 1975.

Future transport fuels--P. Chapman, G. Charlseworth and M. Baker. 1976.

Future transport fuels : discussion of SR 251 : proceedings of a conference held at the Open University on 22nd March 1977--Edited by T. Baker and G. Charlesworth. 1977

Gross energy requirements for air transport--N. D. Mortimer. 1975. Gross energy requirements of marine transport--N. D. Mortimer. 1974.

Linford low energy houses--R. Everett, A. Horton and J. Doggart. 1985. Work performed under contract for the Energy Technology Support Unit on behalf of the Department of Energy. (ETSU-S-1025). Milton Keynes Energy Park : wind study : a report to Milton Keynes Development Corporation--T. Oreszczyn and B. Jones. 1984

The Pennyland project--R. Lowe, J. Chapman and R. Everett. 1985. Report for the Milton Keynes Development Corporation under contract to the Energy Technology Support Unit.

Primary energy requirements for the production of iron and steel in the UK- - R. F. Waller. 1976.

Reflections on Britain's nuclear history : a conversation with Lord Hinton- -D. Lowry. 1984

The library holds no publications by the Open university energy and environment research unit.

The library purchases or borrows publications when so requested by officers of the Department or when their contents seem relevant to current departmental work and to the Department's policy-making.


Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what is the total amount per annum of dry weight biomass available for combustion to produce electricity ; and how much of this fuel source is currently used in the United Kingdom.

Mr. Peter Morrison : The extent to which biomass can be made available for electricity generation depends on the arrangements made for its collection and combustion and their economics. Energy Paper 55, published by my Department estimated that biomass could contribute between 4 million and 15 million tonnes of coal equivalent per year to United Kingdom energy supplies by 2025. In principle all this could be used for electricity generation. Current utilisation is estimated to be about 0.8 million tonnes of coal equivalent per year.

Non-proliferation Treaty

Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what recent suggestions his Department has received from non-governmental organisations in regard to policy proposals for Her Majesty's Government's delegation to the fourth review conference of the non-proliferation treaty in Geneva in August 1990.

Mr. Michael Spicer : None.

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Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy (1) what specific assistance in energy conversion and electricity production technologies, including pollution abatement controls, have been made available to each Comecon member state in eastern Europe in each year since 1979 ; and what plans there are to increase assistance in the future ;

(2) what technologies designated to improve energy efficiency in the domestic, commercial and industrial sectors have been made available to eastern European member states of Comecon since 1979.

Mr. Peter Morrison : My Department has a co-operation agreement with the Soviet Union covering :

(a) oil and gas

(b) energy efficiency

(c) coal, and

(d) electricity production.

A number of Comecon countries also have access to the results of the Department's passive solar design R & D programme through the United Kingdom's participation in the UN Economic Commission for Europe's energy efficiency programme.

The Department participates in a scientific collaboration agreement with Hungary. Other assistance to Comecon countries in the energy field is given through trade, within Comecom rules : energy efficiency technology, for example, has been supplied to a number of Comecon countries. As I said in my speech to energy technologists at Cambridge recently, developments in eastern Europe underline this area as an important market for the future and I believe there are real commercial opportunities for the United Kingdom.


Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy when he expects to publish the civil plutonium production figures for 1988-89 ; and what it has cost him to prepare this data.

Mr. Michael Spicer : The figures were published on5 December and copies placed in the Library of the House. My Department's role is to co- ordinate the information for publication. The bulk of the work has been done by the Central Electricity Generating Board, the South of Scotland Electricity Board, British Nuclear Fuels plc and the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority.

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Mr. Rost : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy how many companies are currently involved in their best efficiency practice scheme in the sectors of steel, ceramics, chemicals, food and drink, motors and drivers, and textiles.

Mr. Peter Morrison : The direct involvement of companies in these sectors in the Best Practice programme which started in April 1989 is currently as tabulated. In addition many more companies have been involved by way of participation in consultations leading to future participation in projects or to future development of the programme.

Sector            |Companies   |Companies                

                  |involved in |involved in              

                  |projects    |supply of                




Steel             |5           |23                       

Ceramics          |0           |55                       

Chemicals         |8           |31                       

Food and drinks   |4           |30                       

Motors and drives |5           |0                        

Textiles          |0           |0                        

Oil Price

Mr. Rost : To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what change in the demand for energy he anticipates occurring in 30 years if the real price of oil rises (a) to $43 a barrel, and (b) to $23 a barrel.

Mr. Peter Morrison : Future energy demand will depend--amongst other things--on the rate of economic growth, the price of fuels and technological progress.

The Department of Energy produced a set of scenarios for energy demand-- based on IEA price assumptions--in a report entitled : " An Evaluation of Energy Related Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Measures to Ameliorate Them' " October 1989."

The figures reported are baseline scenarios against which various technical options could be set. The report forms part of the United Kingdom contribution to the work of the intergovernmental panel on climate change and a copy has been lodged in the House of Commons Library.


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