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Mr. Meacher: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what information his Department holds for benchmarking purposes on the proportion of electricity generated from renewable sources of energy in each EU member state in (a) 2008 and (b) 1999. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: The EU renewables directive has set targets to member states for the amount of energy from renewable sources. The following table shows information held by the Department for each of the EU member states, on a comparable basis for 1995 and 2005, as well as the normalised hydro basis, as calculated by Eurostat, for 2005.
|Share of renewable sources in final consumption of energy, 1995||Share of renewable sources in final consumption of energy, 2005||Share of renewable sources in final consumption of energy, 2005, after normalisation of hydro|
|UK electricity generation (GWh)||UK electricity generation from renewables (GWh)||Renewables share of generation (percentage)|
| Source: Digest of UK Energy Statistics, 2008, tables 5.6 and 7.4, as updated on 23 December 2008. Available at: http://www.berr.gov.uk/energy/statistics/publications/dukes/page45537.html|
Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how much has been spent from the public purse since 1980 on projects to provide renewable energy from the river Severn. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: The Governments current feasibility study has cost approximately £3 million since 2008. A study by the Sustainable Development Commission in 2007 (which covered all UK tidal power) received £400,000 of public funding. A report by Sir Robert McAlpine Limited in 2002 received £50,000 funding, and approximately £2.8 million was spent on a major study in 1987.
Severn tidal power has also been addressed at other times over the period as part of the wider assessment of UK marine energy potential. However there would be a disproportionate cost involved in obtaining accurate figures for spending related to energy from the Severn.
Mr. Ingram: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what discussions he has had with the Scottish Executive on the draw-down and utilisation of the fund for the promotion of energy use from renewable sources. 
Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment his Department has made of the merits of increasing the level of the subsidy available to homeowners for the installation of solar panels at their properties. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: An additional £45 million was announced in the Budget on 22 April 2009 for the low carbon buildings programme. This funding provides additional support of £10 million to households applying under phase 1 of the scheme.
Joan Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change for what reasons Nuclear Management Partners and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority decided to close the Thermal Oxide Reprocessing Plant (THORP) at Sellafield; what plans his Department has for the imported spent irradiated fuel awaiting reprocessing at THORP; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: THORP has not been closed; it is currently operating, albeit on a batch basis where each batch has its own safety justification. Existing policy for THORP is the plant will continue to operate until existing contracts have been completed or the plant is no longer economic.
Mr. Maude: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change pursuant to the answer of 20 March 2009, Official Report, column 1399W, on trade unions, what office facilities his Department provides for the exclusive use of each recognised trade union; and what the notional annual value of such provision is. 
Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many wind turbines will be erected over the next three years; and what recent estimate he has made of the effect this will have on the level of UK carbon dioxide emissions in each subsequent year. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: In line with Government targets for delivering 15 per cent. renewable energy by 2020, we do expect an increase in the deployment of renewable energy, including wind farms, over the next three years. The scale of the increase in wind turbines over this period will depend on how quickly the market brings forward projects, and developers are able to obtain planning consent or construct projects which already have consent.
As an indication of the potential increase in the amount of wind energy over the next three years, 181 onshore and offshore wind developments (7393.4 MWe)
have already received consent and are awaiting construction. A further 194 onshore and offshore wind projects (7316.8 MWe) are currently in the planning system(1). Those in the planning system may or may not be consented. The timing of construction of those wind farms that have been consented depends on the developers plans. Planning applications for further projects for wind farms may also come forward in this timeframe.
The effect that new wind farms will have on UK annual carbon dioxide emissions will depend on the speed of the build rate. It is estimated that in 2007 wind power saved 501 tonnes of CO2 per GWh of electricity supplied compared with emissions from all fuel sources, including nuclear and renewables(2).
Our Renewable Energy Strategy consultation last summer estimated that meeting the 15 per cent. renewable energy target could save about 20 Mt CO2 a year in 2020 outside the EU Emissions Trading Scheme, and contribute around 50 to 55 Mt CO2 a year to meeting our ETS cap.
AEA Technology, May 2009
Digest of United Kingdom Energy Statistics (DUKES) 2008
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what criteria his Department employed in determining award of the contract for the construction of wind turbines in the South Downs National Park. 
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change when the wind turbines in the South Downs National Park near East Meon were (a) planned and (b) offered out to tender; and which companies tendered for the project. 
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what discussions his Department has had with the management of Vesta plants in Southampton and the Isle of Wight on proposals for the building of wind turbines in the South Downs National Park. 
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change if he will make an estimate of likely levels of retention of the skilled workforce at the Vesta turbine plants in Southampton and on the Isle of Wight in the next five years. 
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