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4 Feb 2009 : Column 1380W—continued

Sellafield: Insurance

Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change on what date he was informed that the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority planned to propose that the proposed insurance indemnification to be granted to the new management tier for Sellafield should be made available for prior scrutiny only to certain hon. Members in July 2008. [250107]

Mr. Mike O'Brien [holding answer 22 January 2009]: The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) did not exist when decisions on the Sellafield nuclear indemnity were taken; it was then the responsibility of the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR).

I am told that my right hon. Friend the Member for Croydon, North (Malcolm Wicks) the then Minister for Energy wrote to the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee on 9 June 2008 providing him with advance notice and background information on the intention to seek approval in July for a nuclear indemnity for the preferred bidder for the Sellafield competition. While all the bidders would require an indemnity to proceed to contract, it was not possible to submit an indemnity for scrutiny any earlier because the details were subject to competitive tension and evaluation within the competition process.

Tidal Power: Expenditure

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how much his Department has spent on wave and tidal renewable energy technologies in (a) Middlesbrough, South and East Cleveland constituency, (b) the North East, (c) England and (d) the UK in the last 12 months. [249517]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The Department of Energy and Climate Change provides funding for demonstration and deployment of commercial scale wave and tidal energy technologies under the marine renewables deployment fund (MRDF). Following is a breakdown of expenditure excluding VAT in the last 12 months:

£ (excluding VAT)

Middlesbrough, South and East Cleveland

0

North-east England

0

England

24,943

UK

54,887


The Government also provide financial support for research and development into wave and tidal energy technologies through the Research Councils’ Supergen Marine initiative, the Carbon Trust, the Technology Strategy Board and the Energy Technology Institute.


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Wind Power

Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment he has made of the effects of the depreciation of sterling on (a) investment in and (b) the costs of (i) the London Array and (ii) other major offshore renewable energy projects; and if he will make a statement. [250728]

Mr. Mike O'Brien [holding answer 26 January 2009]: Investment in renewables projects such as offshore wind is determined by a wide number of factors of which the exchange rate is only one. The Government are working
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to create the right conditions for rapid deployment of renewable energy—both to meet challenging climate change goals and maintain energy security. We are the leading country in the world for operational offshore wind farms, and with over 440 megawatts under construction, we are set to remain so in 2009. The UK remains an attractive market for offshore wind and companies continue to invest, with more than 90 UK and international companies registering their interest with the Crown Estate for round three.

It would be inappropriate to give a running ministerial commentary on how currency movements affect commercial investments by private companies like those involved in the London Array.


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