|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr. Quentin Davies: The scope of work carried out at the three naval bases (Portsmouth, Devonport and Clyde), including the base porting of Royal Navy vessels, is currently being considered as part of the Maritime Change Programme. This work is now reaching a conclusion although we need to ensure that final decisions are fully aligned with the recently announced changes to the equipment programme. An announcement on the Maritime Change Programme will be made as soon as is practicable.
Mr. Atkinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how his Department plans to assess the sustainability of large-scale wood biomass energy plants of 50 megawatts and over; and if he will take into account that assessment in the potential impact on UK wood processing industries of large biomass plants purchasing their feedstock from UK wood markets. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: As part of the reforms to the renewables obligation (RO) to take effect on 1 April 2009, we are introducing a sustainability reporting requirement for all plants using biomass to generate electricity with a net capacity greater than 50kW. Generators will be required to provide information including the type and origin of the biomass used, and whether it was certified under an environmental quality assurance scheme.
The Government recognise that sustainability includes whether using particular types of biomass for electricity generation is the best use to which it can be put, and that this is a particular concern where there are other industries that already make sustainable use of all or most of the available supply. We will continue to monitor the sustainability of biomass use for electricity generation through the above information provided by generators. In addition, the Government are engaging with the European Commission process to establish sustainability criteria for biomass for heat and power.
Mr. Atkinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change whether (a) the effect on existing wood industries and (b) the sustainability of material is taken into account in deciding whether to grant planning permission for large-scale biomass energy projects of 50 megawatts and over. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: The sourcing and purchasing of biomass for power generation is a matter for the developer. However, previous biomass generating stations consented by the Secretary of State have included conditions aimed at ensuring only sustainable biomass is used. The Government are also introducing a sustainability reporting requirement for generators using biomass to generate electricity with a net capacity greater than 50kW, to take effect from 1 April 2009, as part of the reform of the renewables obligation.
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change pursuant to the Prime Minister's Statement on the EU Council Afghanistan, India and Pakistan of 15 December 2008, Official Report, columns 814-17, what the financial mechanism is to make available funds for the commercial demonstration of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology; how much of the nine billion euro of such funding will be contributed by the United Kingdom; and when he expects the first CCS demonstration project to be commissioned. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: On 17 December 2008 the European Parliament passed the directive governing phase III of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), which will make available until 31 December 2015 up to 300 million free allowances from the new entrants' reserve for the construction and operation of up to 12 demonstration projects of carbon capture and storage (CCS) and innovative renewable energy projects. This does not require member states to make individual contributions, although any one project may claim only a maximum of 15 per cent. of the total number of allowances and projects must be co-financed by the operator. The total amount of funding that will be made available for CCS depends on the carbon price and the number of CCS projects that are put forward by the member states. The criteria for allocating allowances to projects will be determined over the next few months, but the aim of the mechanism is to stimulate investments in projects which will be operational by 2015.
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change pursuant to the written ministerial statement of 15 December 2008, Official Report, column 76WS, on the EU Energy Council, if he will (a) place in the Library and (b) post on his departmental website copies of the documents presented to the meeting by the Presidency and European Commission respectively; and if he will make a statement on the Government's responses to the proposals. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: The documents relating to the Energy and Climate Change package, the Second Strategic European Energy Review and energy efficiency were all placed in the Library when they were first published, with Explanatory Memoranda, which set out the UK's initial position.
The documents relating to the issues discussed at the Energy Council can all be found on the European Commission's website through links on the European energy pages of the Department of Energy and Climate Change's website.
Greg Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change by what date he expects legislation to be passed to implement the 20 per cent. increase in the carbon emissions reduction target announced by the Prime Minister on 11 September 2008. 
The amendment to the Electricity and Gas (Carbon Emissions Reduction) Order 2008 is subject to statutory consultation followed by debate in both
Houses. We intend to consult on the proposed amendments early next year, with a view to completing the legislative process by the summer recess.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change whether his Department is contributing (a) resources and (b) personnel to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Climate Change and Energy Programme; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: The Department of Energy and Climate Change works closely with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on international climate change and energy issues, but is not currently contributing resources or personnel to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Climate Change and Energy Programme.
Richard Younger-Ross: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what the change in the price of domestic coal has been in each year since 2004; and if he will make a statement. 
|Coal and smokeless fuels, Retail Price Index (RPI)|
|Cash Terms||Real Terms|
|Index 1990=100||Percentage change||Index 1990=100||Percentage change|
Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many journeys (a) he and his predecessors and (b) his officials have made by aeroplane in the course of their duties since his Departments inception. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: It is not possible to answer this question without incurring disproportionate costs. Travel by Ministers and civil servants is undertaken in accordance with the Ministerial Code and the Civil Service Management Code respectively.
Mr. Mike O'Brien:
The Department is not at present party to any contracts which continue beyond 1 July 2010, as the Transfer of Function Order related to the
creation of DECC has not yet come into force. Existing contracts related to energy and climate change matters will remain with BERR and DEFRA respectively until the Transfer of Function Order comes into force.
Mr. Mike O'Brien: The Cabinet Office, on an annual basis, publishes a report to Parliament on the performance of Departments in replying to Members/peers correspondence. Information relating to 2008 will be published as soon as it has been collated. The report for 2007 was published on 20 March 2008, Official Report, columns 71-74WS. Reports for earlier years are available in the Library of the House. When responding to all correspondence, the Department abides by the guidance as set out in Handling correspondence from MPs, Lords, MEPs and Members of Devolved Assemblies which was published by the Cabinet Office in July 2005.
In respect of e-mails, the Department is not be able to provide the information within the disproportionate cost limit (£750) as to do so would require gathering information from every official in the Department.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what his Department's budget is for financial years (a) 2008-09, (b) 2009-10 and (c) 2010-11; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) was formed on 3 October 2008. Negotiations with the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) on the machinery of government changes are ongoing. The budgets for DECC will be determined once negotiations are complete.
Mrs. Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how much has been spent by his Department on furniture made by (a) British firms, (b) Remploy and (c) overseas firms since it was established. 
Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how much has been spent on the design and implementation of his Department's website to date; how much is forecast to be spent on the migration of relevant information on websites belonging to the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; when he expects such migration to occur; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: The Department of Energy and Climate Change's interim website is hosted by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and has not required any expenditure by the Department. The Department is in the process of procuring a new website. The process for any content migration that may be required in replacing the relevant parts of other Departments' websites, and any associated costs, are still under consideration.
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what records his Department maintains of its expenditure on (a) official hospitality and (b) alcohol for official hospitality. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) was created on 3 October 2008, bringing together staff from the Climate Change Group of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and from the Energy Group of the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR). DECC at present makes use of the BERR and DEFRA accounting systems. In the case of both BERR and DEFRA accounting systems, expenditure on official hospitality is recorded as an account code. All expenditure, including that on official hospitality, is incurred, and recorded, in accordance with the principles of Managing Public Money and the Treasury Handbook on Regularity and Propriety. Expenditure on alcohol for official hospitality is not distinguished from other expenditure on official hospitality in the accounting systems.
Mr. Mike O'Brien: The Department of Energy and Climate Change does not employ any staff until it is formally constituted via the Transfer of Functions Order and Parliament votes a supply via the Spring Supplementary Estimate. Details of staff transferring from the Departments for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform are also still being finalised. Until these Machinery of Government changes have been completed, I am unable to answer this question.
Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what the cost of establishing his Department has been; and how much has been spent on (a) relocation, (b) the logo, stationery, building signs and electronic media, (c) fees paid to advisers and consultants on establishment and (d) other transition costs. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: To date, the cost of establishing the Department have been: (a) £54,000 on relocating and establishing staff in the new Department Headquarters in 3 Whitehall Place; (b) £18,000 on logo design, branding, signage and pull-up displays.
Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many telephone numbers for which callers are charged at the rate applicable to 0845 numbers are used by his Department for public access to services. 
Greg Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change if he will place in the Library a copy of written advice he received from officials on competition issues prior to the meeting he held with main energy supply companies on 17 November 2008. 
Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what steps the Government is taking to ensure that energy suppliers in (a) the UK, (b) the North East, (c) Tees Valley district and (d) Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland constituency do not increase their distant profits through increases to direct debit payments. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: The Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem) is responsible for regulating gas and electricity supply in Great Britain. Responsibility for gas and electricity supply in Northern Ireland is devolved. Ofgem is currently considering the representations it has received from customers and others about suppliers' reassessments of the levels of direct debits, and is seeking explanations from suppliers. It will decide what, if any, action it should take in the light of that consideration.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|