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Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many IT projects have been developed for his Department since 2001; and whether he has agreed to make public Gateway Reviews for these projects (a) in full and (b) in part. 
Alan Johnson: The majority of the Department's IT services are provided through a PFI agreement with Fujitsu Services. The Department has not been asked to make public, either in full or in part, any project requiring a Gateway Review.
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry pursuant to his written statement on 2 November 2005, Official Report, column 47WS, on low-carbon buildings, what assessment he has made of the likely impact of the arrangements for grant support he has announced on (a) private sector investment in the UK micro-renewables industry, and (b) the ability of micro-renewables to contribute to future Government energy efficiency and renewable energy targets. 
(a) The Clear Skies and Solar PV Programmes have contributed to the development of the micro generation industry in the UK, including an installer base. The new low carbon buildings programme will continue to fund the installation of micro generation technologies in household, community and large-scale projects. The new programme and the wider micro generation strategy currently under development will aim to introduce further measures to help develop a sustainable market for all the buildings renewable technologies.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the budget of the Medical Research Council has been in each year since 199798; and what percentage of the budget was spent in each year. 
Alan Johnson: While the Medical Research Council (MRC) has some separate external income, it derives its main funding from the Science Budget. The following table sets out MRC's allocations from the Science Budget and the proportion of that allocation spent in each year, from 199798. Where the proportion of expenditure exceeds 100 per cent. the excess represents the utilisation of unspent budget available from previous years.
|Financial year||Budget (allocation) £ million||Percentage spent|
Malcolm Wicks: A public consultation on the Government strategy to promote microgeneration was held between 23 June and 23 September this year. 200 responses were received and are being analysed. In addition a study into the costs and benefits of microgeneration was commissioned and is expected to report shortly. The findings of this study and the responses to the consultation are being fed into the process of developing the final strategy, which will be published in April 2006.
Malcolm Wicks: The Government have a target of 10 per cent. of electricity to come from renewables sources by 2010. This would save approximately 2.5 million tonnes of carbon per year if the equivalent amount of energy were generated from gas. Current assessments suggest that as much as 7 per cent. of electricity could be generated from onshore and offshore wind by 2010.
Four Round 1 offshore projects, totalling 400MW in generation capacity, should be operational by the end of 2005. A further eight Round 1 projects have been awarded grant support and are being progressed. Two Round 2 offshore projects have recently submitted applications for consent.
Alan Johnson: The Department has purchased electricity from renewable sources since 1999. The amount bought equates to average of 32.3 per cent. of the total electricity consumed on the HQ estate which compares favourably to the Sustainable Development in Government (SDIG) energy target which is to buy 10 per cent. by 2008.
Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how much of the total expenditure in 2005 under the capital grant programme for biomass research was funded by (a) his Department and (b) the National Lottery. 
From 1 January 2005 to date, the Big Lottery Fund has provided funding for capital projects of £3,166,965 but the DTI has provided no funding as yet. The present imbalance in the drawdown of funds is due primarily to the timing of individual projects.
Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what formal co-ordination in respect of skills issues takes place between the regional development agencies, the Learning and Skills Councils and the sector skills councils; how frequently these agencies meet; and whether meetings take place at (a) board and (b) operational level. 
The Skills White Paper 21st Century Skills: Realising Our Potential invited Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) to lead the establishment of Regional Skills Partnerships (RSPs). These bring together the RDA, the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) and Sector Skills Councils (SSCs) with other regional partners to plan and co-ordinate the provision of skills and business support that reflects the priorities of the Regional Economic Strategy. The organisation of RSPs and the number and frequency of meetings varies regionally.
At national level the RDAs are represented on the board of the LSC. The Skills for Business Network and the LSC are involved in the governance and programme board arrangements for the Skills Strategy with meetings taking place monthly.
Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what research he has commissioned on the viability of photovoltaic solar cells as a significant national renewable energy source. 
Malcolm Wicks: The Renewables Innovation Review (February 2004), which looked at the viability of photovoltaics and other renewable technologies, suggested that the environmental benefits in buildings could be maximised by developing an appropriate mix of building integrated renewables and energy efficiency. It recommended taking this forward through a technology blind, capital grant based, low carbon building programme and this is what we intend to do. The new low carbon buildings programme will have a budget of £30 million over three years. It will start in April 2006 subject to EU state aids clearance.
Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment he has made of the impact of the Government's solar photovoltaics major demonstration programme on private sector investment in the UK solar industry. 
Malcolm Wicks: The solar photovoltaics major demonstration and Clear Skies programmes have contributed to the development of the micro generation industry in the UK, including an installer base. The new low carbon buildings programme will continue to fund the installation of microgeneration technologies in household, community and large-scale projects. A budget of £30 million over three years for the programme was announced on 2 November. It will be launched in April 2006 subject to EU state aids clearance.
The new programme and the wider micro generation strategy currently under development will aim to introduce further measures to help develop a sustainable market for solar PV as well as all the building renewable technologies.
Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will take steps to ensure levels of capital grant support to the (a) solar photovoltaics and (b) other micro-renewable industries increase during the six years of the low carbon building programme. 
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