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8 Jun 2009 : Column 716W—continued

Electricite de France

Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what discussions he has had with Vincent De Rivaz, Chief Executive of EDF UK, in respect of his statement on 26 May 2009 that EDF UK will be seeking subsidies from public funds to support new nuclear plants developed by EDF UK at sites in England and Wales. [278385]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: No discussions have taken place with Vincent De Rivaz in respect of his statement in the Financial Times on 26 May 2009.


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The Government agree with the point made by M. De Rivaz that a robust carbon price is likely to be one of the conditions for long-term investment in low carbon power stations like nuclear.

Government have said that the EU ETS will remain the key carbon pricing mechanism, and the Government are confident that they can provide a continuing price signal; however, the Government are keeping open the option of further measures to reinforce the operation of the EU ETS in the UK should this be necessary to provide greater certainty to investors.

Energy

David Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what representations his Department and its predecessor have received from (a) the Association of Electricity Producers and (b) Drax Power Limited since 2005. [276759]

Mr. Mike O'Brien [holding answer 21 May 2009]: As the Department responsible for energy and the generation sector, DECC has received a significant number of representations from the AEP and Drax since 2005. These representations concerned a wide range of issues relating to the generators' businesses and the energy market.

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what estimate he has made of the proportion of UK energy demand that was met by energy from (a) fossil fuel sources in (i) each year from 1987 to 1989 and (ii) 2008 and (b) nuclear sources in each year since 1987. [278278]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The proportion of UK demand met by fossil fuel sources in the years 1987 to 1989 was 92.5 per cent., 91.5 per cent. and 90.6 per cent. respectively. Provisional estimates suggest that 91.9 per cent. of UK energy demand was met by fossil fuel sources in 2008.

The following tables details the proportion of UK energy demand met from nuclear sources in the years 1987 through to 2008.


8 Jun 2009 : Column 718W

Percentage

1987

6.8

1988

7.8

1989

8.4

1990

7.6

1991

7.9

1992

8.5

1993

9.8

1994

9.7

1995

9.8

1996

9.6

1997

10.2

1998

10.2

1999

9.7

2000

8.4

2001

8.8

2002

8.7

2003

8.6

2004

7.8

2005

7.8

2006

7.4

2007

6.2

2008

5.5


Energy Industry: Job Creation

Mr. Donohoe: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what recent steps his Department has taken to encourage employers in the energy sector to create new jobs in the UK. [270831]

Mr. Mike O'Brien [holding answer 24 April 2009]: The UK has led the world in taking a strategic and long-term approach to the problem of climate change. Existing policies are already enabling £50 billion of low carbon investment over the three years to 2011, and helping to support 900,000 jobs. Budget 2009 builds on these foundations and provides over £1.4 billion of extra targeted support in the low carbon sector. Together with announcements made last autumn, these measures will enable an additional £10.4 billion of low carbon and energy investment over the next three years. This will help protect investment and jobs in the low carbon sector in the short term and provide the foundations for strong growth in the future.

Energy: Billing

Mr. Morley: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what recent discussions he has had with Ofgem on the simplification and standardisation of energy bills for the purposes of assisting consumers. [278340]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: Ministers have met with Ofgem and discussed a range of issues in the energy supply markets. Following the results of its probe into energy markets, Ofgem recently consulted on proposals designed to help consumers to make well-informed choices. The proposals include an obligation on suppliers to provide clearer information, including simplified information on tariffs to make comparison easier. The consultation closed on 29 May.

Energy: Finance

Mr. Meacher: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how much has been spent from the public purse on the generation of energy from (a) oil, (b) gas, (c) coal, (d) nuclear sources and (e) renewable sources in each year since 1990. [278253]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: Since its creation on 3 October 2008, the Department of Energy and Climate Change has not spent any money from the public purse on the actual generation of energy from oil and gas fired, coal fired, nuclear power and renewable energy sources.

Financial support for renewable generation comes mainly through the renewables obligation, which is ultimately paid for by electricity consumers. The Government also pay grants towards the installation costs of a variety of renewable generation, and development of new technologies.


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The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority currently has two operating nuclear power stations, the costs of running which are covered by the income that they generate.

Energy: Meters

Mr. David Anderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change if he will have discussions with smaller energy suppliers on their practice in introducing smart meters at minimal cost to consumers. [278160]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The Government published a consultation on smart metering for electricity and gas on 11 May 2009 (available on the open consultations section of the DECC website). We look forward to receiving contributions to this consultation and we will engage with a wide range of stakeholders to gather views throughout the consultation period.

Mr. David Anderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change if he will bring forward legislative proposals to restrict to a minimum the cost to consumers of the introduction of smart meters. [278161]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The Government published a consultation on smart metering for electricity and gas on 11 May 2009 (available on the open consultations section of the DECC website). The consultation document includes discussion of the programme of work that will be needed to prepare for the roll-out of smart meters. There will be a substantial programme to complete, including consideration of the most appropriate regulatory framework.

Energy: Prices

Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment he has made of the effect on energy prices of measures to implement commitments to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. [277335]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: DECC’s analysis estimates that the benefits to the UK as a whole of measures to help avert climate change could outweigh the costs by more than 10 times. Where these measures lead to an international climate agreement consistent with delivering a 450 ppm stabilisation of GHG atmospheric concentrations, we estimate the total benefits at £241.9 billion. This compares with total costs of £20.6 billion. The Impact Assessment can be found at:

The Government are committed to ensuring that policies to avert climate change are cost-effective.

For household consumers, approximately 12 to 14 per cent. of current average electricity prices is attributable to measures to implement commitments to reduce carbon dioxide emissions (the Renewables Obligation, the EU Emissions Trading Scheme and the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target).


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For household gas consumers, approximately 2 per cent. of the average gas price is attributable to the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target.

However the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target supports energy efficiency measures for households and so will deliver over time an overall saving on both gas and electricity bills greater than its total cost to consumers.

For medium industrial electricity consumers, approximately 20 per cent. of current average electricity bills is attributable to measures to implement commitments to reduce carbon dioxide emissions (the Renewables Obligation, EU ETS and the Climate Change Levy).

On gas, approximately 7 per cent. of current average prices for a medium industrial gas consumer is attributable to the Climate Change Levy.

Actual proportions for individual industrial consumers will vary from these estimated averages according to the considerable ranges of prices paid and of consumption sizes. Impacts will generally be lower for those companies which have entered into Climate Change Agreements. The revenue raised by the Climate Change Levy is recycled back to business, primarily through a 0.3 percentage point reduction in employers’ national insurance contributions.

Floods

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what progress his Department has made in its (a) survey and (b) review of (i) the resilience of and (ii) resilience plans developed by the (A) electricity, (B) gas and (C) oil sector in respect of flooding. [277655]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: Taking each sector in turn:

(A) Electricity:

The then Energy Minister initiated an in depth review into the resilience of electricity substations to flood risk shortly after the floods of summer 2007. This review was led by the Electricity Networks Association (ENA) and included representatives from DECC, all electricity network owners, the Environment Agency (EA)/SEPA, the Met Office and Ofgem. The Pitt review team also attended several meetings of the review steering group. As a result of this work we are now at a position where:

(B) Gas and (C) Oil.

DECC has also completed a survey of both the gas and oil sectors to establish their awareness of flood risk and identify any significant risks to the continuity of supplies. Although inherently more resilient than the electricity networks, and with little evidence of supply problems due to flooding, a small number of residual risks were identified that could lead to local difficulties in the most severe flooding situations. The management of these risks is being progressed with the companies and their trade associations.

Fossil Fuel Levy: Scotland

Mr. Ingram: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what the balance of the Scottish fossil fuel levy account was on 31 March 2009. [277347]

Mr. Mike O'Brien [holding answer 2 June 2009]: The balance of the Scottish fossil fuel levy account was £153.2 million on 31 March 2009.

Fuel Oil: Lancashire

Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what estimate he has made of the volume of domestic fuel oil consumed by households in Lancashire between 1 November and 31 March in each of the last five years; and what assessment he has made of the likely effects of the implementation of the National Energy Efficiency Saving Plan on such volumes. [278577]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The domestic fuel oil consumption statistics for Lancashire are not available for the requested period of 1 November to 31 March as DECC only publish sub-national energy consumption statistics on a calendar year basis. The annual statistics are currently available for the years 2003 to 2006 and can be seen in the following table. It must be noted that the data are modelled and that there are methodological differences between 2003 and 2004 and the later years. The changes were recognised as improvements and as such the statistics gained National Statistics status in 2005. Details of all methodologies can be found at:


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Thousand tonnes of oil equivalent of fuel oil consumed by the domestic sector in Lancashire

2003

48.4

2004

44.4

2005

35.7

2006

37.4


No specific assessment has been made of the impact our energy efficiency policies have had on fuel oil consumption in Lancashire.


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