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Young Offender Institutions

Mr. Pelling: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what his estimate is of the monetary value of the (a) fixed and (b) working capital contained in (i) prisons and (ii) young offender institutions (A) in total and (B) per person in custody in each case; and what methodology is used to calculate the values of land and buildings for these purposes. [296972]

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Maria Eagle: Calculations for (a) fixed capital and (b) working capital are not produced for Prisons or Young Offender Institutions because the main financial ledgers (bank, accounts payable and accounts receivable) are held centrally. As a result we cannot give estimates per person in custody either. The National Offender Management Service (NOMS accounts for 2008-09 have been prepared in accordance with the 2008-09 Government Financial Reporting Manual (FReM) issued by HM Treasury, and the Accounts Direction issued by HM Treasury. The accounting policies in the FReM follow UK generally accepted accounting policies for companies (UK GAAP) to the extent that it is meaningful and appropriate to the public sector.

In accordance with accounting standards the custodial estate was subject to external revaluation at 31 March 2009. Land and Buildings relating to the custodial estate were valued by the Valuation Office Agency at £5.2 billion. Prisons are valued at depreciated replacement cost adopting where appropriate alternative site locations. The valuation was in accordance with the RICS Valuation Standards 6th Edition.

The NOMS Accounts for 2008-09 show details of fixed and working capital at total NOMS level and Note 7 provides full details of the most recent valuation of the land and buildings. A copy of the accounts is available in the House of Commons Library.

Energy and Climate Change


David Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what steps his Department is taking to promote the production of sustainable biofuels in the UK. [298368]

Joan Ruddock: The UK was instrumental in ensuring the EU renewable energy directive contains sustainability criteria that will apply from December 2010 to biofuels for transport and bioliquids for heat and electricity, used in the UK and in other European member states.

The directive also placed a requirement on the Commission to report on the need for sustainability criteria for the solid biomass used for heat and electricity by 31 December 2009, and to bring forward proposals as appropriate. Ahead of this, in April 2009, we introduced a sustainability reporting requirement to the Renewables Obligation for electricity generators over 50kW combusting biomass. In addition, grant applications to our energy crops scheme are subject to an environmental assessment.

David Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what estimate his Department has made of the potential contribution of biodiesel produced from used cooking oil to the production of renewable electricity and heat. [298370]

Joan Ruddock: Estimates of the availability of used cooking oil (UCO) for biodiesel production were made as part of the WRAP/EA 2008 financial impact assessment report for the production and use of biodiesel derived from cooking oil and rendered animal fat (tallow). This states:

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The report points out that this latter material is of higher quality and is primarily used for animal feed. The report also quotes independent analysis by the university of Swansea (Jones, P. (2004). The Collection of Used Vegetable Oil at Civic Amenity Sites. MRES Thesis, university of Swansea) which suggests that up to 30,000 tonnes per year could be available from households. However, WRAP considers that domestically-derived used cooking oil is likely to be contaminated and of poor quality, requiring considerable cleaning and blending before it is suitable for conversion to biodiesel. In total, the report estimates that:

much of which is poured down the drain or landfilled.

The report further estimates that approximately 82,000 tonnes of waste vegetable oil is being transformed into biodiesel each year for use in the transport, heat or power sectors, with approximately 20,000 tonnes/yr being exported, 5,000 tonnes/yr used in the oleochemical industry and 1,000 tonnes/yr either incinerated or used in CHP.

Carbon Emissions

Lembit Öpik: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change whether he has received any recent representations on proposals for a zero-carbon economy. [296969]

Joan Ruddock: I am not aware of any recent representations to the Department on proposals for a zero-carbon economy.

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what recent discussions he has had with the Swedish Presidency of the Council of Ministers on proposals for an international climate change agreement on carbon emissions. [298059]

Joan Ruddock: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State is in frequent contact with the Swedish Environment Minister, Andreas Carlgren concerning all aspects of an International Climate Change Agreement, including emissions reduction proposals and targets. The Ministers most recently met to discuss this in Barcelona on 31 October and at Environment Council in Brussels on 21 October.


Mr. Hepburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many tonnes of coal have been produced in the UK in each of the last five years. [298352]

Mr. Kidney: The following table shows published figures on UK coal production for the last five years.

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Thousand tonnes
Deep-mined production Opencast production Total production( 1)





















(1) These figures exclude estimates of slurry recovered from ponds, dumps, rivers etc.
Digest of UK Energy Statistics 2009, Table 2.7, available at:

Mr. Hepburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many people have been employed in the UK coal industry in each of the last five years. [298353]

Mr. Kidney: The following table shows UK coal employment figures for the last five years.

Average UK coal industry employment











UK Coal Authority, available at:

Departmental Postal Services

Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change which companies are under contract to his Department to provide mail services; and when each such contract expires. [296079]

Joan Ruddock: Since DECC's inception, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) manage the Department's estate, including mail services. I refer the hon. Member to the answers given by my hon. Friends the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Rural Affairs and Environment at DEFRA on 3 November 2009, Official Report, column 800W and the Minister of State for Employment Relations and Postal Affairs at BIS on 3 November 2009, Official Report, column 967W.


Mr. Hepburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what percentage of electricity has been generated from (a) coal, (b) nuclear power, (c) renewables and (d) gas in each of the last five years. [298356]

Mr. Kidney: The percentage shares of UK electricity generation by coal, nuclear, renewables and gas, from 2004 to 2008 are given in the following table:

Coal-fired electricity generation in the UK Nuclear electricity generation in the UK Renewables sourced electricity generation in the UK Gas-fired electricity generation in the UK
Total electricity generation in the UK GWh Percentage share of total GWh Percentage share of total GWh Percentage share of total GWh Percentage share of total

393,929 GWh









398,303 GWh









397,292 GWh









397,044 GWh









389,649 GWh









Energy Supply

John Hemming: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what the Government's latest estimate is of the (a) date and (b) level of peak global production of (i) oil, (ii) gas, (iii) coal and (iv) uranium-235. [297575]

Mr. Kidney: The Government do not estimate global resources. Data are available from a range of publications-the International Energy Agency (hereafter IEA) is an authoritative source. The Government do, however, publish the Energy Markets Outlook, an annual report on UK Security of Supply, which includes discussion of longer term availability of fuels.

Domestically, the UK has only recently passed an ambitious Climate Change Act and DECC has recently published the UK low carbon transition plan. Our climate change and energy security policies outlined there are not only reducing the UK's carbon emissions, but are consistent with the need to reduce our use of fossil fuels. In addition, the Government are reforming the regulatory framework for planning and consents through the Energy and Planning Acts 2008, which will help to improve the security of our energy supplies.

For information, the following provides information on future supplies for each fuel.

(i) Oil

The IEA's view(1) is that there are reserves to meet demand at least through to 2030, if sufficient investment in production capacity is forthcoming. Thus the immediate
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risk to oil production is not the level of resources and reserves, but the world's ability to convert these reserves into production now and in the long run. The UK recognises that tight oil markets could lead to high and volatile oil prices with potential negative effects on the economy.

(ii) Gas

As with oil, the IEA foresees that gas reserves are more than sufficient to meet demand to 2030, with remaining reserves more than doubling since 1980, and by more than 15 per cent. for every year since 2000. Moreover, despite rising annual production, new discoveries presently exceeded production. The IEA therefore forecasts that production will be able to meet the growth in demand until at least 2030.

(iii) Coal

According to the Department of Energy and Climate Change's December 2008 Energy Market Outlook, coal is the most abundant fossil fuel in terms of reserves. These reserves are geographically well dispersed, with economically recoverable reserves in more than 70 countries worldwide. The IEA similarly suggests that there are more than enough coal reserves to meet the growth in global demand until 2030. However, sufficient investment will be needed in new mining projects and prospecting.

(iv) Nuclear

The OECD/NEA and IAEA collates information about uranium resources and publishes a comprehensive report(2) every two years. The OECD/NEA concluded in a forward looking report on nuclear energy in November 2008(3) that identified uranium resources are sufficient to fuel an expansion of global nuclear generating capacity, without reprocessing, at least until 2050. Based on regional geological data, resources that are expected to exist could increase uranium supply to several hundreds of years.

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