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Renewable Energy

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what (a) amount and (b) percentage of the United Kingdom's electricity supply were supplied by renewable sources in each year since the non-fossil fuel obligation was introduced in 1989. [43224]

Mr. Battle [holding answer 3 June 1998]: The following table shows information on electricity from renewable sources for the years since 1989. Generation from all renewable sources is included, not just those sources supported by the non-fossil fuel obligation. The amount of electricity available from hydro sources in a particular year depends on rainfall in the preceding period. Dry weather affected output from hydro stations in 1991, 1993 and 1996. When hydro electricity is excluded, other renewable sources are shown to be providing an increasing proportion of generation in the UK, and their contribution in 1997 was 4½ times that in 1989.

Since coming into office I have repeatedly stressed my commitment to renewable energies. Indeed within weeks of the election I announced a review of renewable energy policy including consideration of what would be necessary and practicable for the UK to achieve a 10 per cent. contribution from renewable resources towards electricity generation by 2010. I can confirm that we remain committed to the 10 per cent. target and expect to make a further announcement in due course. The announcement of policy proposals for the fifth non-fossil fuel obligation round which I made on 25 November 1997, Official Report, columns 507-10, will be the first step in our new and strong drive for renewables and I expect NFFO-5 will contribute substantially to reducing greenhouse gases and encouraging internationally competitive industries. I expect to make this Order later this year.

Electricity generated from renewable sources (GWh) Renewables as a proportion of total generated (percentage) Total electricity
YearTotalTotal excluding hydroTotalTotal excluding hydrogenerated in the UK (GWh)
19895,4967101.90.2292,896
19905,8946872.00.2298,495
19915,4117871.80.3301,490
19926,5041,0732.00.3321,043
19935,8841,5821.80.5323,102
19947,3072,2132.20.7324,978
19957,2422,4042.20.7334,047
19966,0362,6751.70.8347,369
1997(10)7,3413,2132.10.9345,786

(10) Data for 1997 are provisional

Source:

Digest of UK Energy Statistics, includes figures that have been revised since the Digest for 1997 was published


23 Jun 1998 : Column: 478

Buried Ordnance

Mr. Key: To ask the President of the Board of Trade if Her Majesty's Government have made a declaration to The Hague in accordance with its obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention in connection with buried ordnance at East Gomeldon in Wiltshire; and if she will make a statement. [46025]

Mrs. Roche [holding answer 17 June 1998]: In May 1997 the United Kingdom submitted to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in The Hague an initial declaration of old chemical weapons, predating 1 January 1946, unearthed on its territory. This information is updated as necessary. The Convention does not require the declaration of chemical weapons buried before 1 January 1977 and which remain buried.

Mr. Key: To ask the President of the Board of Trade if sections 5 and 6 of the Chemical Weapons Act 1996 apply to the land adjacent to the Nuclear, Chemical and Biological Centre at Winterbourne Gunner where buried ordnance has been identified; and if she will make a statement. [46024]

Mrs. Roche [holding answer 17 June 1998]: The Chemical Weapons Act 1996 provides the legislative framework to implement the Chemical Weapons Convention in the United Kingdom. All areas of the United Kingdom are covered by sections 5 and 6 of the Act.

Working Time Directive

Mr. Pike: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what assessment she has made of the implications for the duties of The Health and Safety Executive of the EU Directive on the organisation of working time and the protection of young people at work; and if she will make a statement. [46754]

Mr. Ian McCartney: The recent Government proposals outlined in the consultation on draft Working Time Regulations proposed an enforcement role for the HSE. The details of this and an estimate of the costs of enforcement are set out in a consultation document published on 8 April. A copy is available in the Library of the House.

Small Businesses

Mr. Steinberg: To ask the President of the Board of Trade if she will estimate the percentage of companies in the United Kingdom which employ fewer than 20 persons. [46731]

Mrs. Roche: At the start of 1996, the latest date for which data are available, 97.7 per cent. of enterprises in the UK (including sole traders) employed fewer than 20 people.

Mr. Steinberg: To ask the President of the Board of Trade if she will estimate the number of employees in the United Kingdom who work for companies that employ fewer than 20 persons. [46732]

Mrs. Roche: At the start of 1996, the latest date for which data are available, there were 4.3 million employees in enterprises in the UK employing fewer than 20 persons.

23 Jun 1998 : Column: 479

SCOTLAND

Celtic Heritage

9. Mr. Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will introduce measures to improve cultural links relating to Celtic heritage between Scotland and (a) Wales, (b) Cornwall, (c) the Isle of Man, (d) Brittany and (e) Ireland. [45579]

Mr. McLeish: Cultural links between Scotland and the other peoples of the Celtic heritage are being made by a variety of organisations, including the Scottish Arts Council and the Gaelic National Arts Agency. I expect that these bodies will continue to develop their links.

Agenda 2000

10. Mr. Robathan: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on the Agenda 2000 proposals for EU structural funding. [45580]

Mr. Dewar: As I said when I spoke for the UK at the Informal Council of Ministers meeting on Regional Policy in Glasgow on 9 June, the reform of the Structural Funds must be affordable, durable and transparent. The reform must also be fair to all Member states whether acceding or established.

Textile Industry

11. Mr. Kirkwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what discussions he has had with Scottish Enterprise on the development of a strategy for the textile industry in Scotland. [45581]

Mr. Wilson: My right hon. Friend and I frequently meet representatives of Scottish Enterprise and the local enterprise companies. As the hon. Member is aware, I met the Chairman and Chief Executive of Scottish Borders Enterprise, in his company, on 18 June. I also plan to pay a further visit to the Borders next month.

Trunk Roads

13. Mr. Home Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on the progress of his review of plans for investment in improvements to the trunk road network. [45583]

Mr. McLeish: We will consult shortly on a draft revised appraisal framework for prioritising investment on the trunk road network and intend to complete the strategic roads review later this year.

Exchange Rate

14. Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement about the effects of the current exchange rate on Scottish manufacturing industry. [45584]

Mr. Wilson: Although the current level of sterling is a concern to many businesses, Scottish firms retain an impressive ability to compete successfully in both domestic and overseas markets.

The latest official data show that Scottish manufactured output rose by 7.7 per cent. in 1997.

23 Jun 1998 : Column: 480

Breast Cancer Services

15. Mr. Sarwar: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what plans he has to improve breast cancer services for women in Scotland. [45585]

Mr. Dewar: Cancer, including breast cancer, remains one of the priority areas for the NHS in Scotland. We are therefore doing a great deal, all of it geared to providing the best possible service for those suffering from this devastating disease.

Direct Labour Organisations

16. Mr. Forth: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement about the future of direct labour organisations in Scotland. [45586]

Mr. Dewar: I refer the right hon. Gentleman to the oral answer I gave to the hon. Member for Faversham and Mid-Kent (Mr. Rowe) today, Official Report, column 831.


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