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7 Dec 2004 : Column 473W—continued

Renewable Energy

Mr. David Stewart: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how much money the UK
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Government have spent on (a) solar and (b) wind-powered forms of renewable energy since 2001; and if she will make a statement. [201585]

Mr. Mike O'Brien [holding answer 2 December 2004]: The Government have committed £117 million in capital grant support for Round 1 offshore wind projects. To date £7.5 million of this has been spent.

For solar, £31 million has been committed to the Major PV demonstration programme, which runs to March 2006. To date £18.8 million has been confirmed for projects and £3.3 million of this has been spent.

In addition the following has been spent on research on wind and solar technologies:
£ million


Mr. David Stewart: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what recent assessment she has made of the future of photovoltaic (PV) technology within the UK energy market; and what plans she has to promote the use of PV technology. [201586]

Mr. Mike O'Brien [holding answer 2 December 2004]: We have already funded PV installations to the tune of £25 million through our Major PV demonstration programme and £10 million through the Large Scale and Domestic Field Trials. We have seen a number of successes from the programme such as a growing number of renewable installations at a variety of scales. The installer base increasing significantly costs reducing and recent investments in manufacturing capacity in solar power in the UK.

The Government have listened to the calls for an extension of the Photovoltaics Major Demonstration Programme to give sufficient time for the development of a Low Carbon Buildings Programme (as recommended in the Renewables Innovation Review: February 2004). The Government have acted on these calls and my Department announced on 15 September a further £6 million for the PV Major Demonstration programme to enable the programme to be extended for a further year.

The DTI has also put effort into removing a number of barriers to the deployment of very small generators such as PV. These include reduction of VAT to 5 per cent. for professionally installed systems, a new PV Annex to Planning Policy Guidance Note (PPG22), simplified connection agreements to the local network (G77 and G83/1) and Installer Training and Accreditation Schemes. In addition the Government have amended the Renewables Obligation to enable very small generators like PV to accumulate their production over a year, rather than a month, so as to qualify for ROCs.

Mr. David Stewart: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps she is taking in respect of charges for connecting major wind farm projects to the national grid; and if she will make a statement. [201587]

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Mr. Mike O'Brien [holding answer 2 December 2004]: The Energy Act 2004 laid the foundation for the creation of a single GB market for wholesale electricity trading and transmission. Charges to connect to and use the GB transmission system, and therefore access the GB market, are still being developed by National Grid. Ofgem considered NGC's proposals last month, and concluded that further work was required in respect of use of system charges. It did, however, approve National Grid's proposed connection charges, i.e. the charges that relate to the specific assets provided at each site to connect to the network.

NGC's proposal for the use of system charges will be revised and resubmitted to Ofgem for approval in February 2005. The transmission charging methodology is planned to take effect when BETTA is implemented.

Ofgem also recently announced that, following approval of a use of system charging methodology, it is minded to implement a discount against transmission charges of approximately £4 per kilowatt for smaller generators connected to the transmission system at 132KV. This is expected to encompass a number of larger wind-farm developments, particularly in the north of Scotland.

Further, the Government took a legislative power in the Energy Act 2004 to allow the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry to introduce a dispensation regime in order to limit the transmission charges to renewable generators in a specified area of Great Britain, if the transmission charges would otherwise materially hinder renewable development in that area. DTI recently commissioned an independent study to examine the likely impact of GB transmission charges on renewable development, in particular Scotland.

The establishment of the GB market will also remove charges for using the Anglo-Scottish interconnector currently paid by Scottish generators including windfarms, exporting to England and Wales. It will also give Scottish generators including renewables access to the GB market as a whole rather than their development being constrained by the limited size of the electricity market in Scotland.

Small Business Research Initiative

Mrs. Anne Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many research and development procurement opportunities were disseminated by her Department to small and medium-sized enterprises registered through the Small Business Research Initiative web portal in each year since 2001–02, including figures for 2004–05 to date; and what the value of such opportunities was in each case. [201303]

Nigel Griffiths: Since 2001–02 the Small Business Research Initiative web portal has provided information on 98 research and development procurement opportunities, with a total value of £5,720,030. Information for each year is given in the table:
Number of proposalsValue (£)

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Supermarket Code of Practice

Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when the Office of Fair Trading will publish the report of its audit of the Supermarket Code of Practice. [202041]

Mr. Sutcliffe: This is a matter for the Chairman of the OFT and I have asked him to write to the hon. Member directly.

Wind Farms

Mr. Ben Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what estimate has been made of the likely reduction in emissions from the use of modern wind turbines; and on what research this estimate was based. [201329]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The Government's target of 10 per cent. of electricity supply from renewables in 2010 would save approximately 2.5 MtC per year if the equivalent amount of energy were generated from gas. We expect around 7–8 per cent. of that 10 per cent. total to come from wind.


Arms Embargo (China)

Sue Doughty: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether the UK Government supports the lifting of the arms embargo on China; and if he will make a statement. [200354]

Mr. Rammell: The Government support the decision of the European Council in December 2003 to review the EU Arms Embargo on China. This review is ongoing—it was last discussed by EU Foreign Ministers at the 22 November General Affairs and External Relations Council. The Government do not wish to exclude any options for the review, nor to pre-empt the conclusion of the review.

The Government continue to implement the Arms Embargo as set out by the then Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the late Derek Fatchett, in his reply on 3 June 1998, Official Report, columns 240–41, to my hon. Friend the Member for Gedling (Vernon Coaker).

Arms Sales (Code of Conduct)

Sue Doughty: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he supports the introduction of a more stringent EU Code of Conduct for Arms Sales; and if he will make a statement. [200355]

Mr. MacShane: The United Kingdom instigated the ongoing review of the Code of Conduct, in which we continue to play an active role. We are keen to ensure that the Code reflects modern export control
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developments, such as controls on brokering and intangible military technology transfers, and increases the transparency of member states' arms exports. This will increase the ability of the Code properly to regulate EU defence exports.

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