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26 Feb 2009 : Column 916W—continued

Energy and Climate Change

British-French Nuclear Forum

Greg Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change (1) on what date the Franco-British Nuclear Forum last met; [256003]

(2) on what date a Minister last attended a meeting of the Franco-British Nuclear Forum; [256002]

(3) how much has been paid from the public purse to the Franco-British Nuclear Forum in each year since its inception. [255984]

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Mr. Mike O'Brien: The last meeting of the Franco-British Nuclear Forum to be attended by a Minister was held on 29 March 2007 and attended by the then Energy Minister. This is also the date that the forum last met.

The total cost to the public purse of the Franco- British Nuclear Forum in each year since its inception is £33,400, all of which was incurred in financial year 2006-07.

Carbon Sequestration: Finance

Martin Horwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how much his Department has spent on the facilitation of carbon capture and storage in (a) each year since 1997 and (b) 2008-09 to date; and what estimate he has made of equivalent expenditure in the next six years. [257575]

Mr. Mike O'Brien [holding answer 23 February 2009]: In the period 1997-2005, the then Department of Trade and Industry supported industrially led research and development through the Clean Coal Programme, spend as follows. It has not been possible to provide separate figures for carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects for this period.

£ million

















Since 2005, funding for industrially led R and D has been the responsibility of the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills’ Technology Strategy Board.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) provides support for demonstration of components for CCS and pilot scale CCS through the Carbon Abatement Technologies Demonstration Programme now supported via the Environmental Transformation Fund. Since the programme was launched in October 2006 it has spent:

£ million







2008-09 to date


A further joint call, worth some £15million, under this programme was announced on 12 February 2009, with the TSB and Northern Way.

In addition the DECC is supporting a full scale CCS demonstration project to be operational by 2014. Given the unique nature of the UK’s CCS project it is difficult to provide a definitive assessment of costs. It is also the case that the final cost may vary significantly according to the design of the winning project. We expect to develop a much clearer picture of both capital and operating costs during the competition process as we undertake detailed negotiations with the three pre-qualified bidders.

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As a new Department an estimate of spend for future years cannot be given. The annual budgets for DECC for the financial years 2009-10 and 2010-11 have been agreed with HM Treasury and DECC is currently allocating these budgets to its different responsibilities through a business planning process.

DECC also undertakes a number of other activities that will facilitate the introduction of CCS. An example is the Energy Act 2008 which sets the framework for offshore storage of CO2.

Climate Change: EU Action

Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what discussions he has had with his EU counterparts on taking into account energy and climate change-related threats in the European Security Strategy. [255147]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: Energy security and climate change are among key threats and global challenges that were identified in the EU High Representative/Secretary General's report on the implementation of the 2003 European security strategy which was endorsed by the December 2008 European Council. The UK Government outlined their position on the threat of climate change in the March 2008 national security strategy and, reflecting its importance in traditional security policy, have taken a lead in pushing climate change to the top of the international debate about security. The Government also pressed to ensure that Javier Solana's report included energy security as a key theme.

My right. hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change has regular discussions with EU counterparts on these issues, mainly in the context of the EU Energy and Environment Councils.

Community Energy Saving Programme

Greg Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change when he expects the first householders to receive assistance from the Community Energy Saving Programme. [255853]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The consultation for the Community Energy Saving Programme was published on 12 February 2009.

We are working to publish a draft order to illustrate how the policy proposals may be reflected in a final order. We hope to publish this in the next few weeks, hopefully by the second or third week of March.

The order will then be finalised once the Government have received and considered responses to the consultation process.

Departmental Data Protection

Mr. Vara: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change when his Department appointed a senior information risk owner in accordance with the report, Data Handling Procedures in Government and the accompanying document Cross-departmental Actions: Mandatory Minimum Action; and what grade the person holds within the Department. [245360]

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Mr. Mike O'Brien: A member of the DECC Management Board currently on temporary promotion to SCS Pay Band 3 accepted the role of SIRO on an interim basis on 6 January 2009.

Departmental Freedom of Information

Greg Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many requests under the (a) Freedom of Information Act 2000 and (b) Environmental Information Regulations 2004 his Department has (i) received and (ii) responded to since its inception. [255877]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The Ministry of Justice publishes quarterly reports containing statistical information on freedom of information requests received by monitored bodies (including central Government Departments). These reports can be found at the following address:

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The latest published data currently relate to information requests received by monitored bodies during the third quarter (July to September) of 2008. Statistics for the fourth quarter (October to December) of 2008 are currently being compiled, and are due to be published in April 2009. This report will include statistics on information requests received and responded to by the Department of Energy and Climate Change between its creation on 3 October and the end of December 2008.

Departmental Gifts

Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many members of staff in his Department have received gifts valued at £100 or higher in the course of their duties since his Department's creation; what these gifts were; and from whom they were received. [242024]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: Since the Department's creation on 3 October 2008, one member of DECC staff has received a gift valued at £100 or higher in the course of their duties, as follows:

Date gift received Description Value (£) Gift received from Reason for gift Outcome

December 2008

12 bottles of red wine



Thank you for speaking at seminar at short notice

Staff member retained gift and made donations of equivalent value to charities

(1) Estimated

Departmental Internet

Greg Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change by what date he expects his Departmental website to achieve the full (a) content and (b) functionality planned. [257600]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The Department's new website will go live by the end of February 2009, including all functionality and content that have so far been planned. More content will be added subsequent to this date. The Department will continue to hold detailed policy information on the energy and climate change sections of the websites of the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform and the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs respectively, pending a full content audit to be undertaken later this year.

Departmental Marketing

Greg Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how much his Department has spent to date on its (a) websites, (b) logos and (c) stationery. [257595]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: Since its formation on 3 October 2008, DECC has spent £19,226 on stationery and £38,931 on logo design and associated costs. The current DECC website was put in place at no additional cost as a temporary measure while a new site for the Department is developed. While no invoices have yet been received for the development of the replacement site, £50,000 has so far been allocated for this for 2008-09.

Departmental Public Consultation

Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what consultations relating to energy and climate change were initiated by his Department’s predecessors between 5 May 2005 and 6 October 2008. [256035]

Joan Ruddock [holding answer 23 February 2009]: The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has records on consultations relating to energy and climate change undertaken from August 2006. A total of 32 consultations were carried out in the period of August 2006 to 6 October 2008. Details are set out as follows and include consultations relating to waste, which has links to energy and climate change.

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Economic Situation

Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what recent discussions his Department has had with outside organisations to discuss policy on reducing the effect of the recession on matters within his Department's responsibility. [254053]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: Ministers and officials have regular engagements with other organisations including relevant Government Departments on a range of issues relating to the economy.

No sector is immune from the current economic climate and credit crunch and along with the regulator Ofgem, we are closely monitoring the effects on the energy sector, including on investment plans.

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