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14 Sept 2004 : Column 1538W—continued

Wind Farms

Mr. Ben Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what estimates have been made of the costs of steel production in the construction of wind farms. [186600]

Mr. Timms: A typical 2 MW wind turbine weighs around 260 tonnes and approximately 95 per cent. of that by weight is steel. Installed costs of onshore wind turbines are around £700,000 per MW, of which the turbines can account for around 75 per cent., although this will depend on factors such as the cost of the foundations and grid connection etc. One a per tonne basis, steel costs even at current market prices would account for less than 10 per cent. of the cost of the turbine.

However, the cost of the steel itself is not necessarily the driving cost fact in all components of the turbine. For example, the tower section of the turbine is a relatively simple structure and in this case the amount of steel used will be the primary cost factor. However, other sections such as the nacelle, which contain complex components such as the turbine generator etc, might account for 25–40 per cent. of weight and 25 per cent. of the cost of the turbine. Although steel is still the primary component by weight, other raw materials and the processes involved in making these complex components account for a more significant proportion to total costs.
 
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Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether the 50 MW threshold, above which she determines planning applications for wind farms, is based on the wind farm's theoretical maximum output, or its actual projected output. [187039]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: When looking at the capacity of a power station for the purposes of applications made under section 36 of the Electricity Act 1989, it is the rated capacity which counts. That is the capacity which can be generated by the station and fed through the alternators without causing damage to the alternators.

Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what constitutes a single wind farm for the purposes of planning applications; and whether there is a maximum distance between two clusters of turbines, beyond which they would be regarded as two wind farms. [187040]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The Department is of the view that a wind farm could be considered as one where it used the same common services such as transmission cables, electricity sub-station and control room. If separate services were to be used then it would be two stand alone proposals and fall to be determined as two separate applications. While there is no maximum distance between each turbine the Department would expect the turbines to be spaced in such a manner that the distance between each turbine is the optimum for generation and satisfying environmental concerns.

Mr. Ben Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what estimates have been made of levels of carbon dioxide production as a result of building wind farms. [187570]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: A number of studies have estimated the overall environmental cost of building wind power generation based on energy payback or life cycle analysis. These calculations project the energy output as a ratio of energy required to build, maintain and decommission the power station.

The average wind farm in the UK will pay back the energy used in its manufacture within three to five months, and over its lifetime a wind turbine will produce over 30 times more energy than was used in building, maintenance and decommissioning according to a study commissioned by the British Wind Energy Association.

DEFENCE

Afghanistan

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on (a) the number of fighters serving with the militias in Afghanistan and (b) the arms available to them. [188362]

Mr. Ingram: It is difficult to estimate accurately the number of fighters serving with militias in Afghanistan accurately, due to the difficulty of obtaining reliable intelligence reporting and the precise definition of what constitutes a militia fighter. Nevertheless, we estimate there to be around 50–60,000. They are predominantly armed with Soviet-era small arms and heavy weapons from the 1950s-1980s period.
 
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Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent discussions he has had with other members of NATO on the need for additional resources for the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. [188363]

Mr. Ingram: The United Kingdom strongly supports the expansion of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) as an essential part of the international community's efforts to stabilize and rebuild Afghanistan. Our leadership of Stage 1 of ISAF expansion and our deployment of Harrier GR7 aircraft to support both ISAF and coalition operations are examples of this commitment. In this context, we routinely engage with our NATO allies to discuss what additional resources are needed to facilitate ISAF expansion.

Coastal Protection (Northern Ireland)

Mr. Dodds: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many coastal protection vessels have been deployed in Northern Ireland waters by the Royal Navy in each year since 1997; and which the vessels were. [187417]

Mr. Ingram: During the period in question, four Royal Navy vessels were initially assigned to Northern Ireland patrol duties: HMS Itchen, HMS Blackwater, HMS Spey and HMS Arun. These ships were progressively withdrawn during 1998 and replaced by the current patrol ships HMS Cottesmore, HMS Dulverton and HMS Brecon which, as announced by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence (Mr. Hoon) on 21 July 2004, will be paid off by April 2007.

Departmental Budget

Mr. Keetch: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when his Department is planning to release its budget. [187128]

Mr. Ingram: Details of the 2004–05 budget can be found at Table 1 of the current edition of the Ministry of Defence's 'Government Expenditure Plans 2004–05–2005–06' (Cm 6212).

Iraq

Adam Price: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether British service personnel worked as part of the team of the US military judge advocate in Iraq, Colonel Mark Warren. [185908]

Mr. Ingram: One United Kingdom officer worked with Colonel Warren.

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 19 July, 2004 Official Report, column 245W, on Iraq, how many enquiries by (a) civilian authorities and (b) military police resulted from these incidents; what the conclusions were; and if he will make a statement. [186420]

Mr. Ingram: Eight incidents that led to allegations against United Kingdom forces and compensation being paid to Iraqi people have been investigated by the Royal Military Police. Three concluded that no crime could be established and five have been referred to the relevant prosecuting service.
 
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Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Iraqi detainees and prisoners of war were held by British forces in Iraq on 29 June. [188320]

Mr. Ingram: There were no prisoners of war or detainees held by British forces in Iraq on 29 June. However, 49 internees were held.

Adam Price: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether a British officer was responsible for supervising Lieutenant-Colonel Steven Jordan during his time at Abu Ghraib in 2003 and 2004. [188302]

Mr. Ingram [holding answer 13 September 2004]: No. At no time have United Kingdom officers had direct responsibility for supervising any of the US personnel posted to Abu Ghraib.

Adam Price: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether Colonels Campbell James and Chris Terrington were part of a joint reporting or command chain with the US army during their time in Iraq. [188303]

Mr. Ingram [holding answer 13 September 2004]: Colonel Terrington and his successor, Colonel Campbell-James were embedded within the C2 (Intelligence) Division of the US Combined Joint Task Force 7.

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what rules govern (a) the handling of captured firearms and ammunition in Iraq, (b) the personal retention of captured weaponry and (c) selling such weapons; how many (i) officers and (ii) soldiers have been found in breach of such rules; how many have been subject to disciplinary action; and what sanctions have been applied. [176025]

Mr. Ingram: In Iraq, all captured enemy ammunition is handled by qualified Explosive Ordnance Disposal personnel, in accordance with the Ammunition and Explosive regulations and Joint Service Publication 482. Captured weapons are transferred to a central facility for destruction, repair, re-distribution to the Iraqi Security Forces, or when given approval, returned to owners. Personal retention of captured weapons is not permitted. In some cases, operational memorabilia is cleared for return to the UK for retention by the capturing units. Service Police conduct anti-smuggling checks on equipment, vehicles, containers and baggage transported back to the UK and service flights are subject to checks by HM Customs and Excise.

As at 31 August 2004, a total of three service personnel had been reported by the Royal Military Police for possession of captured firearms from Iraq.

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what instructions were made available to interrogators and other soldiers involved in the handling of prisoners in Iraq from March 2003 onwards in order to prevent European Convention on Human Rights violations under Article 3 occurring through each of the five techniques identified by the Court in 1978. [174551]

Mr. Ingram: All UK armed forces personnel are instructed that Iraqi prisoners should be treated in accordance with the Geneva Conventions, which include the prohibition of torture. Each major unit also has a number of personnel trained to a greater degree in prisoner handling.
 
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All UK interrogators must successfully complete a stringent course prior to undertaking any operational interrogations. During the course they are specifically instructed that individuals being questioned must, again, be treated at all times in accordance with the Geneva Conventions.

Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence further to his statement of 7 January 2004, Official Report, column 139WH, on the case of Baha Musa, when he expects the investigation to be completed; whether its outcome will be placed in the public domain; and if he will make a statement. [171623]

Mr. Ingram: The investigation into the death of Baha Musa has concluded and the case is now being considered by the Army Prosecuting Authority. Any ensuing trial would be held in public.


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