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28 Nov 2005 : Column 111W—continued

Tidal Power

Mrs. James: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement on the development of tidal lagoon facilities in United Kingdom waters to generate electricity. [30764]

Malcolm Wicks: Tidal lagoons, as with other forms of large-scale barrage, are technically feasible and are applications of available and well understood technologies. The technology has a potential to contribute to the UK's renewable energy targets and is eligible for support through the renewables obligation. The environmental impacts and economies of any proposed scheme would need to be assessed by the developers and planning authorities on a case-by-case basis.
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UK Trade and Investment

Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether his Department has commissioned further research by Ernst and Young following their preliminary findings on the expenses of employees in UK Trade and Investment. [28662]

Ian Pearson: The Department has not commissioned further research by Ernst and Young.

UK-US Trade

Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the average tariff levied on (a) agricultural and (b) non-agricultural products (i)from the UK to the US and (ii) from the US to the UK was in 2004–05. [30498]

Ian Pearson [holding answer 21 November 2005]: Tariffs for the UK are those set at the European Union level. The latest data available is reported as follows—2004 for the United States and 2005 for the EU. These are average applied tariffs, obtained from the World Trade Organisation Statistical database.

Wave Energy

Joan Ruddock: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry pursuant to the answer of 25 October 2005, Official Report, column 305W, on wave energy, whether he plans to support the Ocean Wave Master via the Marine Renewables Development Fund. [31201]

Malcolm Wicks: In January 2005 the Department published proposals for the allocation of the £50 million 'Marine Renewables Deployment Fund' that will support the continued development of the marine renewables sector.

At the core of those proposals was a £42 million Wave and Tidal Stream Energy Demonstration Scheme for which the eligibility criteria are available on the DTI website. The demonstration scheme is expected to commence in the first quarter of 2006 and to receive applications on set dates throughout the year. It will be for device developers to demonstrate that they meet the eligibility criteria for the demonstration scheme. As the allocation of funding is on a competitive process it is not possible at this stage to allocate funds to individual proposals.

The balance of Marine Renewables Deployment Fund will support underpinning research into the impacts of the demonstration projects (up to £2 million) and infrastructure projects (up to £6 million).

Wind Farms

Mr. David Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether he has received objections
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from National Air Traffic Services to the proposed development of the Gwynt Y Mor offshore wind farm in North Wales. [29272]

Malcolm Wicks: No application for consent has been received in respect of the proposed Gwynt y Mor offshore wind farm and, there is, therefore, no formal objection process in place. However, I am aware that National Air Traffic Services (NATS) has considered the potential impact of the project as part of its initial review of all round 2 offshore wind farm projects.

NATS will be consulted on any consent application that is received by the Department and will be able to prepare their formal response in the light of the information contained in the environmental statement which will be submitted by the developer in support of its application.

WTO Negotiations

Michael Gove: To ask the Secretary of State for Tradeand Industry what assessment he has made of the likely effect of the EU's most recent offer in the World Trade Organisation trade negotiations on (a) applied EU non-agricultural tariffs and (b) services trade liberalisation. [29490]

Ian Pearson: The EU's second offer sought agreement on a simple Swiss tariff formula for industrial goods. This is a non-linear, harmonising formula that is effective at reducing high tariffs and peaks and narrowing tariff escalations. Such a formula would lead to a substantial improvement in real market access through cuts in the applied duties of developed and more competitive developing countries, on the understanding that developing countries should do less. The UK is working hard within the EU to ensure no new obligations are imposed on LDCs and that any NAMA agreement for developing countries respects the principle of less than full reciprocity and maximises Special and Differential Treatment. We recognise the importance for developing countries of maintaining flexibility.

The EU proposal on services aims to substantially improve market access, and recognises a distinction between developed and developing countries in setting targets and the need for balance in the negotiations. The UK's established preference is for a settlement that avoids all new mandatory requirements on developing countries to liberalise services, and we will continue to work towards this goal. We are particularly determined to ensure the maintenance of flexibilities to reflect the individual circumstances of developing countries and preserve members' ability to respond to targets based on their own national policy objectives.

Mr. McGrady: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will press for trade justice rather than free trade at the meeting of the World Trade Organisation in Hong Kong in December. [29523]

Ian Pearson: In his open letter of 2 November to the Trade Justice Movement, the Secretary of State emphasised our commitment to securing the best possible deal for developing countries at Hong Kong.
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For ease of reference I set out the full text of his letter here:

It will be challenging to build the consensus around a package at Hong Kong that truly delivers on the promises of the Doha Development Agenda, but, as the Prime Minister has said, we will not let this opportunity pass without a monumental struggle.
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