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Renewable Energy

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps he is taking to reduce the burden of administration for micro-energy producers who wish to sell energy to the National Grid; and if he will make a statement. [132076]

Malcolm Wicks: The Climate Change and Sustainability Act 2006 gives the Government the power to modify supply licences to ensure that energy suppliers offer to acquire electricity generated by microgenerators. These powers come into being in August 2007 and the Government intend to make use of these powers, subject to appropriate consultation, if the energy suppliers do not appear to be moving in this direction.

In the 2007 Budget, my right hon. Friend the Chancellor asked OFGEM to examine how homes that generate more electricity than they consume can benefit more from exporting electricity back to the network.

Research Councils: Finance

David Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry pursuant to the announcements in the Budget about science funding, what funds are to be made available to the research councils for research funding in each of the next four years. [132771]

Malcolm Wicks [holding answer 20 April 2007]: The Research Councils allocation from the science budget for 2007-08 totals £2.8 billion. This is set out in the allocations booklet “Science Budget allocations 2005-06 to 2007-08” and can be found at:

On 21 March the Budget 2007 announced the CSR07 settlement for the Science budget for the three years 2008-09 to 2010-11. Decisions on the individual allocations to Research Councils and other science budget programmes for these years have not yet been made.

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Seals: EC Action

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what recent discussions he has had with European Union colleagues on a ban on the importation of (a) harp and (b) hooded seal products into the EU; and if he will make a statement. [131100]

Mr. McCartney: I have jointly written with my hon. Friend, the Minister for Local Environment, Marine and Animal Welfare, to Commissioner Dimas, the EU Commissioner for the Environment urging him to extend the current EU-wide ban on listed products of Harp and Hooded seal pups to seals of all ages. We have also written to our Trade and Agricultural Ministerial counterparts in EU member states requesting their support. This has been followed up by Embassy officials. Support so far has been encouraging with very few member states opposing our request.

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