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19 Apr 2004 : Column 65W—continued


Mr. Nigel Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment she has made of the efficiency of wind turbines compared to other sources of renewable energy. [165517]

Mr. Timms: The capacity factor, sometimes referred to as the load factor, is the energy generated during a given period divided by the energy generated that would have been generated had the wind turbine been operating at maximum output.

Figures for average capacity factor for individual wind farms are not available for reasons of commercial confidentiality. However, the most recent figures available show an average load factor for all UK windfarms as being 29.9 per cent. in 2002 1 . Separate figures for offshore wind farms are not yet available as UK's first major offshore wind farm at North Hoyle has only been operational since
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November last year. However, we would expect average load factors to be greater due to the superior offshore wind resource.

The Oxera Report 2 puts the cost of onshore wind in 2004 at £31/MWh and offshore wind at £55/MWh. This is expected to fall to £25/MWh and £37/MWh respectively by 2020.

The cost of wind compared to other forms of renewable generation can be found in table 3.7 within the report at

Accountancy Fees

Mr. Simmonds: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what estimate her Department has made of the average accountancy fee for completing a company voluntary agreement as a percentage of the net value of the company in each year since 2000. [164287]

Mr. Sutcliffe: The Insolvency Service, the Executive Agency of the Department for Trade and Industry that has responsibility for the policy regarding company voluntary arrangements (CVAs) does not collect statistical information regarding the fees of nominees and supervisors on a regular basis and no estimate of such fees is available. Proposals put to a company's creditors contain details of the charges of the nominee and supervisor. It is up to the creditors to decide whether to accept such proposals.

Arms Exports

Mr. Gardiner: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps have been taken to ensure that components for machine guns exported to (a) Côte d'Ivoire, (b) Nigeria and (c) Senegal have not been exported in contravention of the Economic Council of West African States Moratorium. [163415]

Mr. MacShane: I have been asked to reply.

The United Kingdom has one of the strictest and most transparent arms export licensing systems in the world. All export licence applications are rigorously assessed on a case by case basis against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria, taking account of the circumstances prevailing at the time and other announced Government policies. Criterion 1 specifically addresses respect for the UK's international commitments and international obligations.

The UK takes the provisions of the Economic Council of West African States Moratorium fully into account when assessing export licence applications. We would not issue an export licence if there were a clear risk that the export would be re-exported by the stated end-user in contravention of the Moratorium.

British Coal

Adam Price: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether the Department has been given Treasury approval to retain surpluses payable to it out of
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the Mineworkers' Pension Scheme during the last five years to offset expenditure on liabilities inherited from British Coal. [164382]

Nigel Griffiths [holding answer 29 March 2004]: No. The Government's share of any valuation surplus from the Mineworkers' Pension Scheme is released over a 10-year period and paid directly into the Consolidated Fund as Consolidated Fund Extra Receipts.

Business Support

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for   Trade and Industry pursuant to her answer of 23 February 2004, Official Report, column 56W, on Business Support, if she will list the DTI funded business support schemes that have been discontinued since January 2003. [158879]

Ms Hewitt: All DTI funded business support schemes are being replaced by a small set of more strategically focused products. Four of these new products (Small Firms Loan Guarantee, Grant for Research and Development, Grant for Investigating an Innovative Idea and Knowledge Transfer Partnerships) have been available since spring 2003. Further products will be made available from April this year.

Under current plans, the legacy schemes shown in the lists will not, from April 2004, receive any new DTI financial support over and above what has already previously been committed to them. In some cases there will be a tail of activities to which the Department has made legal commitments. The first list shows legacy schemes that have closed to new customers since January 2003. The second list shows legacy schemes that currently remain open to new customers and in some cases may continue to exist with funding from other sources.

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In addition to the schemes listed above, the Home Shipbuilding Credit Guarantee Scheme will close to new   guarantees for support after 5 April 2005. New applications will continue to be accepted until 1 October 2004 and a further period for signature of guarantee contracts will be permitted until 5 April 2005. My Department will be in contact with stakeholders in the next few days to explain the arrangements for closure of this scheme.

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