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Bury St. Edmunds;
Isle of Wight;
John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how much has been paid by his Department to Nabarro Nathanson for handling issues related to miners' industrial diseases since 1995. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: From April 1999 to October 2008, the Department and its predecessors spent £28.7 million + VAT in relation to Nabarro's fees across all mining-related industrial disease claims. But note this excludes all Counsel costs, expert fees, cost draftsman's fees and foreign lawyer's fees.
Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment he has made of the potential contribution of the International Renewable Energy Agency to the development of renewable energy. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien [holding answer 26 January 2009]: To achieve our global climate change goals we need to accelerate rapidly the deployment of renewable sources of energy and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has the potential to make a significant contribution to that work.
The Founding Conference of the IRENA was held on 26 January 2009 and IRENA will be formally constituted when 25 countries have ratified the IRENA statutes. An initial work programme and budget have also to be agreed. It is therefore a little early to be able to make a detailed assessment of the contribution that IRENA might make in the future.
Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what consideration the Government have given to joining the International Renewable Energy Agency; and if he will make a statement. 
During 2008 we participated fully in the process for establishing the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and we participated at the founding conference on 26 January and the first session of the Preparatory Commission of IRENA on 27 January 2009.
We have been talking to Germany about how IRENA can contribute to the roll-out and deployment of renewables and how we can help to get other countries such as Canada, China, Japan, India and the US to join. We are also talking about how we can make sure that IRENA works closely with, and avoids overlap and duplication with, other international bodies and organisations, such as the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the
Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP), of which the UK is already a member.
Greg Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many grants have been made by the Marine Renewables Deployment Fund in each year since the fund was created; and how much was paid in such grants in each of those years. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: Two grants have been made to EMEC (European Marine Energy Centre) from the infrastructure support budget category of the Marine Renewables Deployment Fund. A total payment of £831,000 was made in 2005-06 and £300,000 in 2006-07.
Greg Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many applications for grants have been received by the Marine Renewables Deployment Fund in each year since the fund was created. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: The Marine Renewables Deployment Fund (MRDF) received two grant applications for infrastructure support, one in 2005 and one in 2006. Both applications were approved. We also received two applications for support in 2006 from the Wave and Tidal-stream Energy Demonstration scheme. However neither application met the eligibility criterion of three months continuous operation of a full-scale prototype.
Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many projects have received funding from the Marine Renewable Deployment Fund, broken down by (a) nation and (b) region. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: Seven projects have been supported by the Marine Renewable Deployment Fund; six have been research related and the other infrastructure support. The projects are broken down by (a) nation and (b) region below:
|Number of projects|
|Number of projects|
Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change when he plans to reply to the letter of 24 October 2008 from the hon. Member for West Chelmsford on Ms S Harman of Chelmsford; and what the reasons are for the time taken to reply. 
Although careful consideration was given to those British Coal canteen workers and cleaners who did not lodge valid claims within the time limits of the employment tribunal, it would not be deemed to have been appropriate to make an exception.
Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how much has been spent by the Government on (a) maintenance and (b) new capital projects in respect of the national grid in each of the last 20 years. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: Following the privatisation of the GB electricity industry under the Electricity Act 1989 National Grid, the Scottish Transmission Companies and the Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) have been responsible for maintaining, building and reinforcing the transmission and distribution networks.
Mark Pritchard: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how much spent nuclear fuel was transported through Shropshire (a) to and (b) from the installations at (i) Sellafield and (ii) Wylfa in the last 12 months. 
Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment he has made of the implications for the UK's international competitiveness of the more effective promotion of renewable energy industries by other countries. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien [holding answer 26 January 2009]: The UK is committed to an ambitious tenfold expansion in the share of renewable energy in its energy mix in order to meet its 15 per cent. renewable energy target by 2020, and will be publishing a comprehensive Renewable Energy Strategy in the summer.
The development of renewables and the more general transition to a low-carbon economy will lead to significant business and employment opportunities. The Government's aim is to secure a disproportionate share of these jobs
for the UK, providing the right frameworks and support for UK companies and attracting inward investment.
The development and deployment of renewable energy technologies in other countries will help the global battle against climate change and renewable deployment abroad could also help reduce the costs of these technologies and hence improve the UK's competitiveness as they are deployed here.
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