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Mr. Hepburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment he has made of the likely extent of use of clean coal in the UK in the future; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: The Government are committed to moving our electricity generation to a lower carbon mix and achieving our 2020 and 2050 climate change goals, while at the same time ensuring security of supply for UK power generation. To this end, we are committed to the EU ETS at the heart of our strategy for driving down carbon use in the most cost effective way possible; improving energy efficiency; encouraging demand reductions and increasing renewables to achieve the 15 per cent target by 2020. But coal needs to remain an important part of our energy mix. It provides the most flexible generation (increasingly needed as back up as the percentage of intermittent renewables increases in the overall mix) and an alternative to over dependence on gas. We are supporting development of clean coal technologies including carbon capture and storage, higher efficiency processes, and co-firing with biomass. Our ambition is to see CCS commercially deployable by 2020. The extent of coals future use will depend on decisions by operators and technological development; modelling commissioned to inform our Renewable Energy Strategy consultation estimated that for a central case around 2.5 GW of new coal-fired generation could be added to the mix by 2020.
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what percentage of employees in his Department are (a) on a flexible working contract, (b) on a job share employment contract and (c) work from home for more than four hours a week. 
Mr. Hunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many press and communications officers are employed by (a) his Department, (b) its non-departmental public bodies and (c) its agencies. 
Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what (a) equipment and (b) data has been lost by the Department in the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my right hon. Friend the Minister of State for Employment Relations and Postal Affairs on 10 November 2008, Official Report, column 905W.
Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what estimate he has made of the likely carbon price within the EU Emissions Trading Scheme traded sectors under (a) a 20 per cent. and (b) a 30 per cent. EU effort-sharing arrangement in 2020. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: The Government do not comment on the future level of the carbon price. The European Commission has made an assessment of the potential level of the EU ETS carbon price under a 20 per cent. greenhouse gas reduction scenario as part of their impact assessment of the climate and energy package. Their modelling suggests a central price of around €43/tCO2 in 2020.
John Hemming: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change when he expects the production of (a) oil, (b) gas and (c) other fossil fuels to peak globally; what steps he plans to take in response; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: The Department of Energy and Climate Change does not estimate the precise timing of peak global oil, gas or coal production. However, we consider the worlds fossil fuel resources to be sufficient to prevent the global production of each peaking before 2030, subject to sufficient investment in and efficient operation of production capacity. The exact timing of the peaks depends on a number of factors, including the rate of demand growth, the rate of investment in fossil fuel extraction, and technological developments in finding and producing fossil fuels. More information on oil and coal reserves is available in the Governments Energy Markets Outlook 2007 at:
As the supply of fossil fuels becomes less abundant, relative to demand, rising prices will provide an incentive to shift to alternative sources of energy. However, this process needs to be supported by governments. The UK Government are already putting in place policies that will help ease the UK economy away from fossil fuels as part of initiatives to combat climate change and reduce the UKs import dependence. Our energy efficiency policies, support for the European Emissions Trading Scheme, endorsement of new nuclear, encouragement of renewable energy, piloting of electric vehicles and introduction of the Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation are all intended to reduce both our CO2 emissions and our dependence on any one type of fuel from any one set of countries, increasing the diversity and hence resilience of our energy system.
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what estimate he has made of the number of households in (a) Peterborough, (b) Cambridgeshire and (c) the UK which were in fuel poverty in the last year for which figures are available. 
Joan Ruddock: Most recent estimates of fuel poverty are available for 2006 and show that in the UK there were around 3.5 million households living in fuel poverty in 2006. No sub-regional split of fuel poverty exists for 2006.
The most recently available sub-regional split of fuel poverty relates to 2003, and shows that in Peterborough there were around 4,100 fuel poor households in 2003, and around 17,200 in Cambridgeshire. In 2003, there were around two million households living in fuel poverty in the UK.
Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what estimate he has made of the percentage of households living in fuel poverty who are on a social tariff from their energy supplier; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: DECC provides capital grant and other funding for the demonstration and pre-commercial deployment of low carbon and renewable energy technologies under the Environmental Transformation Fund, which has a budget of £400 million over the 2008 to 2011 CSR period. This includes support for the Carbon Trust innovation portfolio. The Government also provide support for renewables through market drivers such as the renewables obligation, which is expected to be worth around a billion pounds a year by 2010.
In addition, DIUS, through the Research Councils Energy Technologies Institute and Technology Strategy board, provides support for energy research and development and for business innovation. The regional development agencies, devolved Administrations and the European Union also offer a range of support for research into new energy technologies.
We intend to consult next summer on the proposed feed-in tariff mechanism to ensure that interactions with the existing licensing framework are fully considered, and on proposed tariff levels for the scheme.
In order to consult, we will need to gain further understanding and evidence on the scheme design and cost predictions for the various technologies and develop uptake models, so that we can ensure that we introduce a scheme that can effectively encourage deployment at this scale.
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change (1) for what reason the Government requested article 5(2) to be inserted in the proposed Directive on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources (COM (2008) 19) be inserted; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) what assessment he has made of a Severn tidal power schemes compliance with article 5(2) of the proposed Directive on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources (COM (2008) 19). 
Mr. Mike O'Brien [holding answer 17 November 2008]: It is too early to say whether a Severn tidal power scheme would comply with article 5(2) of the draft directive. 10 scheme proposals are currently under consideration within the feasibility study and it is likely that most of these, though not necessarily all, could meet its provisions. Subject to internal review, I expect to consult publicly in early 2009 on a proposed shortlist and the work to be done in the next phase of the feasibility study.
The origin of article 5(2) was a proposal by the European Commission which enshrines the principle, which the UK Government share, that the directive should support, and indeed promote, large-scale renewable energy projects.
Mr. Ingram: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how much of the £500 million allocated to be spent from 2002 on research and development and capital grants for emerging renewable and low carbon technologies has been spent to date; how much has been allocated to projects in each category; what projects have been supported under each category; and what the spend allocation in Scotland was. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien [holding answer 17 November 2008]: Spend to end March 2008 under the programmes listed, which were introduced at different points over the period, totals £233.4 million. All of these programmes except the Major PV Demonstration Programme and Clear Skies are projected to continue to spend during the period 2008-09 to 2010-11 and in some cases well beyond.
Spend on the main programme activities is also set out. It has not been possible to provide a breakdown of the Clear Skies or the R and D Programme spend by technology or by projects supported under each category and details of spend allocation for Scotland for all programmes in the time available at proportionate cost.
|Programme/technology||Actual spend to date (end 2007-08)|
Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how much he has allocated to his Department's science budget under main headings for each of the next three years; and if he will make a statement. 
8. Mr. Devine: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what representations she has received on assistance to local authorities in Scotland and Wales in respect of deposits they held in Icelandic banks; from whom such representations have been received; and if she will make a statement. 
John Healey: Local government in Scotland and Wales is the responsibility of the relevant devolved administration. The Welsh Local Government Association attended a meeting that the Economic Secretary to the Treasury and I had with LGA leaders on 15 October. Dr. Brian Gibbons, Welsh Assembly Minister, and Wayne David, Wales Office, also attended. The Department has not received any other representations.
9. Mr. Allen: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will bring forward proposals to establish constitutionally independent local government; and if she will make a statement. 
Hazel Blears: The United Kingdom's constitution is not consolidated in a single document. Rather it comprises statute law, common law and conventions in which Parliament is sovereign and the statutory independence of local government is set out in the various Local Government Acts. There are no current plans to bring forward proposals to change these arrangements.
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