Previous Section Index Home Page

European Trade Mark Law

Mr. Whittingdale: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, pursuant to the answer of 13 December 2001, Official Report, column 944W, what progress has been made towards liberalising European trade mark law. [44787]

Ms Hewitt: The European Parliament has called on the Commission to report on the implications for industry, consumers and employment of liberalisation of European trade mark law and to submit detailed proposals by the end of this year.

In the meantime, we continue to work bilaterally with our European partners to build the necessary consensus for change. Unanimity is needed for change to the Community Trade Mark Regulation. Although some member states support change, a number remain unconvinced.

Low Carbon Vehicles

Ms Shipley: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how much the Government have spent on the research and development of low carbon vehicles since 1997. [45176]

Mr. Wilson: The DTI's Foresight Vehicle Programme is supporting 20 "low carbon vehicles" projects valued at £25.5 million of which Government's contribution is £9.7 million. The projects include work on advanced lightweight materials, alternative systems for powertrain such as hybridisation and improved conventional internal combustion engines. The Foresight Vehicle Programme is carrying out technology road mapping which will identify R&D priorities for future phases of Foresight Vehicle and inform requirements such as those outlined in the Government's draft "Powering Future Vehicles" strategy. The strategy seeks to accelerate the transition in the UK to a low carbon transport systems.

Since 1992, the DTI's Advanced Fuel Cells Programme has supported industrial R&D in the fuel cells area including stack development, fuel processing and systems development for both transport and stationary power generation applications. Some of the work is generic so it is not possible to be precise regarding the expenditure specifically relating to vehicles. It is estimated that since 1997 work which is wholly or primarily relevant to vehicle applications of fuel cells has amounted to £2.4 million.

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council supports research into transport operations, manufacture and management. Areas covered include improving engine efficiencies, road management, environmental impacts, social inclusion and safety. The £10 million EPSRC research portfolio covering transport operations and management consists of 97 active grants, of which an estimated £500,000 per year relates to low carbon vehicles. EPSRC also supports fuel cell research. The research portfolio is shared between engineering, chemistry and materials programmes of the EPSRC which estimates overall support of around £2 million a year for fuel cell research across all programmes.

25 Mar 2002 : Column 699W

Renewable Energy

Ms Shipley: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) if the proposed renewables obligations fund over three years includes research into the nuclear option; [45178]

Mr. Wilson: The renewables obligation will require licensed electricity suppliers to demonstrate through a system of renewables obligation certificates (ROCs) that they have bought a specified proportion of their electricity from renewable sources. Alternatively, suppliers may meet their obligation through the independent market purchase of ROCs. The renewables obligation will thus provide a substantial market incentive for the UK renewable energy industry as a whole. Electricity suppliers will be free to choose the sources of renewable electricity that enable them to meet their obligation most cost-effectively.

Suppliers who do not present the required number of ROCs will be required to make a buy-out payment corresponding to the extent that their purchases of renewable electricity fall short of the specified amount. The buy-out price will be set initially at 3 pence per kilowatt hour. The proceeds from the buy-out payments will be recycled to suppliers in proportion to the number of ROCs presented. The recycling of the buy-out payments will thus provide an extra incentive to suppliers to meet their obligation.

Separately from the operation of the renewables obligation, the Government are providing over £260 million over the three-year period to March 2004 for the direct support of renewable energy initiatives, including capital grants for early demonstration schemes, and research grants.

Of this direct support money, £20 million has been specifically allocated to solar photovoltaics (PV), £74 million to offshore wind, and £5 million to wave and tidal energy; in addition, finance for research and development projects in these areas will be available through the DTI's Sustainable Energy Programme and through the Research Councils.

The Government do not currently fund nuclear fission research and development, but are currently active participants in a range of international forums that cover nuclear fission including the OECD's Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA), the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the EU's Euratom Framework Programme and the Generation IV initiative.

Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement on plans to utilise renewable energy sources within Wales. [44042]

Mr. Wilson: The Government's role in the promotion of renewable energy is to set the framework but leave the market to decide on the type and location of projects to be pursued.

The Renewables Obligation will apply to Wales and England (with a corresponding arrangement in Scotland), providing an assured market for renewables until 2027.

25 Mar 2002 : Column 700W

Subject to parliamentary approval, we anticipate that the Renewables Obligation will come into effect on 1 April 2002.

Consent for projects under 50 MW, except offshore wind, is normally a matter for local determination. For larger projects in Wales as in England, I have the appropriate consent powers, which are exercised after extensive consultation with all interested parties, including the Welsh Assembly Government.

Wales has much potential for renewable energy projects. The regional assessment conducted for Wales indicated that Wales could deliver between 4 per cent. and 13 per cent. of the UK Renewables Obligation target. It also said:

Nuclear Reactor Design

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what evaluations her Department has made of new nuclear reactor and nuclear power plant design and operation in (a) South Africa, (b) America and (c) Canada. [44808]

Mr. Wilson: The UK is involved in international nuclear systems work including the Generation IV International Forum (GIF), started by the United States Department of Energy (USDOE) to promote and develop better longer-term nuclear reactor designs. South Africa, America and Canada are all among the 10 countries that participate in the forum.

The evaluation of specific new reactor designs is a matter for UK generating companies and the market, as with all generation options.

UK Arms Sales

Mr. Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will list arms sales from UK companies to India and Pakistan approved since 1997. [44761]

Nigel Griffiths: The Department of Trade and Industry's Export Control Organisation does not record arms sales. It records details of all export licences issued and refused, which are published in the Government's annual reports on strategic export controls, copies of which are available in the Libraries of the House.

The granting of a licence does not necessarily translate into a sale.

New Deal

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many people have been employed by her Department in each of the last three years under (a) the New Deal for Young People, (b) the New Deal for the Over 50s and (c) the New Deal for Lone Parents; and at what cost, listed by category, to public funds. [44911]

Ms Hewitt: The information is as follows:

25 Mar 2002 : Column 701W

Young People418
Over 50s001
Lone Parents002

In addition to the above, my Department has appointed 10 New Deal participants from the 25+ scheme during the same period.

New Deal recruits are appointed to existing vacancies so extra costs to public funds are limited to the subsidy, where appropriate, and any additional training and development which may be needed. The cost of the latter cannot be readily identified.

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many people employed by her Department under the new deal for young people in each of the last four years have subsequently (a) found unsubsidised employment for more than 13 weeks and (b) returned to jobseekers' allowance or other benefits. [45090]

Ms Hewitt: My Department has appointed 26 new dealers during the period in question, 24 of whom are, or have been, employed by the Department on an unsubsidised basis. Of those new deal participants appointed under the scheme, four have been successful in securing permanent employment with the Department, while six others have departed, Of the latter, it is not possible to identify how many remained in alternative unsubsidised employment, or returned to jobseeker's allowance or other benefits.

Next Section Index Home Page