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6 Jan 2004 : Column 225Wcontinued
Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) what the total costs of BNFL's business operations in the United States were in each of the last five years; 
(3) how many business contracts BNFL has agreed in the United States in each of the last five years. 
Mr. Timms: BNFL operates in several sectors in the US, principally environmental clean-up through its subsidiary BNFL Inc and fuel manufacture and reactor services through its subsidiary Westinghouse Electric Company. In BNFL's annual report and accounts, Note 2 identifies the sales and profit for the group arising from America (North and South combined). In 200203 the total sales arising from America were £747 million, and the profit before tax and exceptional items was £59 million.
Following is a table that shows BNFL's sales and profit figures going back five years (for North and South America combined):
Drawn from Annual Report & Accounts.
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Brian Cotter: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many statutory inspections of business premises took place in each of the last five years. 
Nigel Griffiths: There is no central database for inspections.
Brian Cotter: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many statutory inspections carrying a right to entry onto business premises were carried out in each year since 1997. 
Nigel Griffiths: There is no central database for inspections.
Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry pursuant to the carbon reduction targets outlined in the Energy White Paper, what Government support is being given to research and development into (a) low carbon technologies and (b) lightweight vehicle design initiatives; and how much of that Government support has gone to companies conducting such research in (i) Middlesbrough, South and Cleveland, East and (ii) the north east. 
Mr. Timms: Pursuant to the carbon reduction targets in the Energy White Paper, the Government is supporting research into low carbon and carbon-free energy generation through my Department's Renewable Energy Programme and through the Research Councils. There are no projects currently being supported under the Renewable Energy Programme in the Middlesbrough, South and Cleveland East, area. There are, however 14 projects and I recently completed project that are receiving or have received funding in the north east region as a whole. This amounts to total funding of over £6.5 million and has been provided for projects including Solar PV Field Trials and the Stingray Tidal Stream Energy Device.
A New and Renewable Energy Centre (NAREC) has been set up by One North East in Blyth, Northumberland, to promote renewable energy in the north east. This is one of five centres of excellence designed to encourage the development of new technologies originating from the region's research base.
The Government are also pursuing its carbon reduction targets through research into energy efficiency, and has accepted the recommendation of the Chief Scientific Adviser in his Energy Research Report that this should be a priority area for investment. An inter-departmental group, on which the Energy Saving Trust and the Carbon Trust are represented, is co-ordinating work in this field.
In 2002, the Carbon Trust established the Low Carbon Innovation Programme to accelerate the development of new and emerging low carbon and energy efficient technologies in the UK, by investing in research, demonstration and development projects and leveraging in further funding.
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As stated in the Government's Powering Future Vehicles Strategy, the Government supports research and development for the encouragement of low carbon vehicles through a number of initiatives including the New Vehicle Technology Fund (NVTF) and Foresight Vehicle programmes. At present, of the 20 projects that are being supported through NVTF, none is based in the north east, although the programme is open to all regions.
The Foresight Vehicle LINK programme supports technology transfer through collaborative R&D, aiming to raise the innovation performance of the automotive industry in the UK. The programme includes a wide portfolio of projects, valued in excess of £100 million. We do not keep separate records for each thematic group under the programme, but included in this funding is light-weighting and engine control which help reduce CO2 emissions and alternative propulsion systems. DTI has committed £12.4 million to this programme.
Brian Cotter: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how much money has been allocated to fund the Grant for Investigating an Innovative Idea pilot scheme. 
Nigel Griffiths: £2 million has been allocated for financial year 200304. £l million has been allocated for financial year 200405 with a further £2 million being sought to supplement this.
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps are being taken to increase international collaboration in dealing with spam. 
Mr. Timms: Spam is widely recognised to be a global problem and the UK is active in discussions on international cooperation to tackle cross-border spam, both multilaterally (for example, at the World Summit on the Information Society and in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) and bilaterally with the USA and other national governments. Proposals now being explored include cooperation between national enforcement agencies and the development of common international guidelines for governments and for business.
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what estimate she has made of the proportion of (a) e-mails and (b) unwanted junk e-mails received in the UK that are sent from within the UK. 
Mr. Timms: The Government do not have an estimate of the total proportion of e-mails received here that are sent from within and outside the UK. Industry estimates suggest that between 80 and 90 per cent. of unwanted junk e-mails received here come from outside the UK.
Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement on the role of, and funding given to, Fuel Cells UK. 
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Mr. Timms: The role of Fuel Cells UK is to act as an umbrella body for the emerging UK fuel cells industry. My Department is providing pump-priming funding for a two year period for Fuel Cells UK to undertake a series of activities which will help to develop the UK fuel cell industry and to establish Fuel Cells UK as a potential trade association. Fuel Cells UK was launched on 7 May 2003 and key activities to date have included the development of a UK Fuel Cell Vision, the preparation of an industry capability guide, and representation on standards work through the BSI. Proposed future activities include the preparation of an academic research capability guide, and the development of a UK Fuel Cells Roadmap.
Funding to date by DTI since the start of this project has totalled £68,585.
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) what discussions she has had with Ofgem concerning the decision by the Financial Services Authority to join in its inquiry into wholesale gas prices; if she will publish the minutes of the meetings; and if she will make a statement; 
Mr. Timms: None. This was a matter for Ofgem and the Financial Services Authority.
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many regulations her Department has (a) removed and (b) reformed in each of the last five years. 
Nigel Griffiths: Figures can only be obtained by a manual sift of all regulations and Statutory Instruments in force from 1997 onwards.
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how much money was paid into the buy-out fund by electricity suppliers as a result of failing to present renewables obligation certificates to Ofgem, in each year since the scheme began. 
Mr. Timms: The Renewables Obligation has only been operating since 1 April 2002 and therefore data is only available for the first period of the obligation, i.e. financial year 200203. For this period, payments into the buy-out by electricity suppliers totalled £78,853,260 for England and Wales, and £11,210,730 for Scotland.
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