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Linda Gilroy: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what recent assessment he has made of the contribution which the production of ethanol can make to meeting UK energy requirements in the context of a sustained higher price for oil. 
Malcolm Wicks [holding answer 13 October 2005]: The department has, alongside other government departments, been assessing the feasibility of options to introduce bioethanol" as a transport fuel extender in the context of meeting the requirements of the EU biofuels directive, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and more general security of fuel supply. The above study will feed into the government's Climate Change Program Review due to report by year end.
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment he has made of the proportion of gas-powered energy generation that will come from (a) natural gas and (b) liquid natural gas in (i) five years, (ii) 10 years and (iii) 20 years. 
Malcolm Wicks: DTI projections do not distinguish between natural gas and LNG. The percentages of electricity projected to be supplied in the UK from gas-fired power stations in the years 2010, 2015 and 2020 are 41 per cent., 47 per cent. and 58 per cent. respectively. The latest DTI energy projections are available electronically at: http://www.dti.gov.uk/energy/sepn/uep_addendum.pdf
Malcolm Wicks: A liquid natural gas import terminal at the Isle of Grain, on the Thames Estuary, was commissioned this summer; it has the capacity to import approximately 13 mcm/day. Two further LNG import terminals are under development at Milford Haven; details are to be found in my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State's First Report to Parliament on Security of Gas and Electricity Supply in Great Britain", published in July 2005, and available on the DTI web-site at http://www.dti.gov.uk/energy/publications/policy/sec_supply_first_report.pdf.
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what estimate he has made of the required liquid natural gas importation capacity for the UK over the next (a) five and (b) 15 years. 
Malcolm Wicks: The UK will require increasing amounts of imported gas as production form the North Sea declines. However, it a commercial matter for individual companies to decide whether to import gas through liquefied natural gas import terminals or through pipelines.
The Joint Energy Security of Supply Working Group monitors predicted supply and demand for gas up to 2013. This is reported in my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State's First Report to Parliament on Security of Gas and Electricity Supply in Great Britain", published in July 2005. It is available on the DTI website at http://www.dti.gov.uk/energv/publications/policy/sec_supply_first_report;pdf.
Hugh Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether his Department has discussed with London Array Ltd. the proposed electricity sub-station at Graveney; and if he will make a statement. 
Malcolm Wicks: Officials in the Department have had discussions with London Array Ltd on a range of issues connected with proposals for a wind farm in the Thames Estuary including the timing of possible outages associated with the proposed substation, should planning permission be obtained. Planning permission for the proposed substation is, however, a matter for the relevant local planning authority.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps he has taken to ensure that (a) he and (b) the Energy Minister has access to advice on energy matters from sources other than his officials. 
My right hon. Friend and I draw advice about energy matters from a wide range of sources. The Sustainable Energy Policy Advisory Board was set up shortly after publication of the Energy White Paper to give expert independent advice to Ministers on energy policy. Notes of their membership and their discussions are available on the Department's website.
17 Oct 2005 : Column 796W
There are similarly a range of other bodies and groups that provide us with advice on more specific areas of energy policy, such as the Renewables Advisory Board; the Coal Authority; the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority; the oil and gas industry/Government forum, PILOT; Ofgem and Energywatch to name a few.
We also occasionally commission specific studies from experts in the private sector according to need, for example those that informed the recent Renewables Innovation Review which are also available on the Department's website.
Malcolm Wicks: We are implementing a range of initiatives to maintain North Sea investment and activity and prolong the life of the UK Continental Shelf to 2020 and beyond, many of these in co-operation with PILOT, the oil and gas task force. Initiatives currently include enhancing the licensing regime, improving the commercial climate and access to infrastructure, freeing up fallow acreage, and finding ways to maximise production from existing brown" fields. We are seeing successes, but must not be complacent. We will therefore continue to work with the industry to find ways to meet all the challenges which emerge as the province continues to mature.
Malcolm Wicks: Current estimates indicate that North Sea energy industries support around 260,000 UK jobs, of which some 30,000 are directly employed by oil and gas exploration and production companies.
Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how much his Department spent on research into nuclear energy technologies in (a) 2005 and (b) each of the previous five years. 
|Financial year||Nuclear fission (£ million)|
|Financial year||Nuclear fission (£ million)|
|Financial year||Nuclear fusion (£ million)|
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