Previous Section Index Home Page

25 Jan 2010 : Column 556W—continued

Prisoners: Voting

Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality with reference to the Equality and Human Rights Commission's press release of 11 December 2009, on the Hirst decision of the European Court of Human Rights, what representations she has received from the Equality and Human Rights Commission on giving convicted prisoners the right to vote. [312014]

Maria Eagle: The Equality and Human Rights Commission has made no representations to the Minister for Women and Equality on giving convicted prisoners the right to vote.

Energy and Climate Change

Liquefied Petroleum Gas: Distribution

Mr. David Anderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change if his Department will take further steps to ensure more efficient delivery of liquefied petroleum gas to customers whose supplies have been affected by the recent severe weather. [312665]

Mr. Kidney: The distributors of liquid petroleum gas (LPG) have been working hard in challenging conditions to supply customers during the worst cold weather experienced for 29 years, particularly in remote parts of the country. My officials have worked closely with the LPG industry to make a robust case for the temporary relaxation of the enforcement of EU drivers' hours and working-time rules. Relaxing drivers' hours is very much a 'last-resort' option that can only be considered once all else has failed and once contingency plans have been fully implemented. I welcome the decision made by the Transport Minister to agree to the cases for the temporary relaxation given to LPG drivers over two week-long periods between 11 and 25 January. The Department will continue to work with fuel distributors in relation to resilience of supply chains.

Natural Gas: Storage

Andrew Stunell: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what the current size of the UK's strategic gas reserve is; and what the UK average daily winter gas demand is. [310097]

Mr. Kidney: Commercial gas storage capacity currently stands at 4.3 billion cubic metres (bcm); some 22 commercial projects could increase this very substantially by 2020. Based on data from the National Grid Winter Consultation Report for 2009-10, the average daily winter demand during the gas year 2008-09 was around 300-350 mcm/day; while the average demand for the coldest 100 days in 2008-09 was 365 mcm/day. Gas shippers have a number
25 Jan 2010 : Column 557W
of options for sourcing gas. Indigenous supplies from the United Kingdom Continental Shelf, as well as imports through a range of expanded and major new import facilities, have important roles, in addition to storage.

Andrew Stunell: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many times the UK's strategic gas reserves have been drawn on in each year of the last 30 years; for what reason in each case; and if he will make a statement. [310102]

Mr. Kidney: Commercial gas storage capacity currently stands at 4.3 billion cubic metres. Gas shippers, which are incentivised to balance their gas supply/demand portfolios on a daily basis, have a number of supply-side tools for achieving this balance: through indigenous supplies from the United Kingdom Continental Shelf and elsewhere, and from imports, as well as from storage. This diversity of supply helped the gas market to perform well in the cold snap earlier this month.

Nuclear Decommissioning Authority: Finance

Mr. Todd: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment he has made of the reason for the cost of the finance function of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority referred to in the publication "Benchmarking the Back Office: Central Government"; and if he will make a statement. [312677]

Mr. Kidney: The finance data on NDA in the "Benchmarking the Back Office" publication reflect the cost of the NDA's head office finance function as a percentage of the total running cost of NDA head office. However, the role of NDA's head office finance function is not limited to managing the budget of its head office; rather it extends to managing the total budget of NDA's entire estate. Benchmarked against the total expenditure of the authority for 2008-09 of some £2.7 billion in 2008-09 the cost of the finance function represents only 0.1 per cent. of NDA expenditure.

Renewable Energy

Mr. Cash: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what progress he has made on the Government's commitment to raise the perception of energy demand from renewable sources to 15 per cent. by 2020; what assessment he has made of the contribution of the offshore wind turbines to be developed under Round 3 to this target; and if he will make a statement. [311272]

Mr. Kidney: Good progress is being made in meeting our target. In 2008, the UK generated 2.25 per cent. of its energy (electricity, heat and transport) from renewable sources, up from 1.8 per cent. in 2007 and 1.5 per cent. in 2006.

In 2008, electricity from renewable sources grew by 10 per cent. with offshore wind generation growing by a massive 67 per cent. and onshore wind by 29 per cent. Plant biomass grew by 39 per cent. over the same period.

It looks like the healthy progress in renewable electricity will continue. By the end of 2009:

25 Jan 2010 : Column 558W

In terms of the contribution of offshore wind under Round 3 to meeting this target, the Crown Estate has awarded Zone Development Agreements for the construction of up to 32GW of offshore wind by 2020. This figure represents potential; actual delivery will depend on a range of factors including the outcome of planning applications by the developers.

Renewables Obligation

John Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change (1) how many renewable obligations certificates were issued to developers of renewable energy technologies in (a) 2005, (b) 2006, (c) 2007 and (d) 2008; [313032]

(2) what the monetary value was of renewable obligation certificates received by the developers of renewable energy technologies in (a) 2005, (b) 2006, (c) 2007 and (d) 2008. [313033]

Mr. Kidney: Ofgem issue Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROCs) to generators for each MWh of electricity they produce from eligible renewables sources.

Ofgem publish data on how many ROCs are issued to individual generating stations each month on the Renewables and CHP Register which can be found at

For the relevant obligation periods the following ROCs were issued:

2005-06 2006-07 2007-08 2008-09

Number of ROCs





The nominal value of each ROC received is determined by the avoided buyout price and the recycle amount. For the relevant obligation periods these were:


2005-06 2006-07 2007-08 2008-09

Buyout price





Recycle amount





Nominal value





It is a matter of commercial contract how much of the nominal value of each ROC a generator receives.

Wind Power

Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what guaranteed price Round 3 offshore wind development partners have been given for the future (a) energy they produce and (b) theoretical energy they could produce; and for what duration in each case. [311088]

Mr. Kidney: The UK system does not guarantee prices to energy suppliers-prices are determined by the market.

25 Jan 2010 : Column 559W

All offshore wind projects that receive full accreditation between 1 April 2010 and 31 March 2014 will receive 2 ROCs/MWh under the Renewables Obligation.

Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what the planned timetable is for (a) commissioning and (b) construction of each Round 3 offshore wind (i) generator and (ii) platform. [311092]

Mr. Kidney: Each consortium which has been awarded a Zone Development Agreement will need to apply to the relevant planning body for development consent to build and operate offshore wind farms in that zone. If development consent is granted, the actual timetable for commissioning and constructing an offshore wind farm project within a zone will be for the consortium partners to determine. It is anticipated that the earliest applications for consent could come forward from 2012 onwards; and should development consent be granted, the earliest projects may commence construction from 2014-15 onwards.

Wind Power: Job Creation

Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what the evidential basis is for his Department's announcement of 8 January 2010 that 70,000 jobs will be created by the 32 GW of off-shore wind power generation; what proportion of the funding for such generating capacity he expects to come from public funds; and how many of the new jobs he estimates will arise from construction and maintenance of port facilities to service wind power developments. [311294]

Mr. Kidney: The figure of up to 70,000 jobs is drawn from the 2009 Carbon Trust report "Focus for Success: A new approach to commercialising Low Carbon technologies", which estimated the potential net economic benefits of a range of low carbon technologies. The report is available to download free of charge from the Carbon trust website at

The Carbon Trust report also estimated that some 40 per cent. of the jobs could be in installation and operations and maintenance, and some 35 per cent. in related services.

The Department has not made an estimate of the proportion of funding for such expenditure that is likely to come from public funds.


Law Officers' Departments: Public Appointments

Mr. Maude: To ask the Solicitor-General which of the public appointments for which the Law Officers' Departments are responsible are due to be (a) renewed and (b) filled in the next 24 months; what the (i) remit, (ii) salary, (iii) political restrictions, (iv) eligibility requirements and (v) timetable for each such appointment is; and what records the Law Officers' Departments keep in respect of such appointments. [312159]

25 Jan 2010 : Column 560W

The Solicitor-General: We are currently recruiting for the only public appointment within the Law Officers' Department, the post of Chief Inspector of HM Crown Prosecution Service, which we are hoping to fill in April 2010.

(i) The remit of the role is:

(ii) The salary for the role is £150,000.

(iii) The appointee may not occupy paid party political posts or hold particularly sensitive or high roles in a political party. Subject to the foregoing, the appointee is free to engage in political activities provided that they are conscious of their general public responsibilities and exercise a proper discretion, particularly with regard to the work of the Inspectorate.

(iv) There are no specific eligibility requirements although the candidates were assessed against a range of skills and experience such as a strong understanding of the criminal justice system and a track record of successfully driving organisational improvement.

(v) The selection process for this appointment is well under way. The preferred candidate appeared before the Justice Committee on 12 January 2010. The Committee's report is awaited. Once received the Attorney-General will consider the report before making any appointment.

The Attorney-General's Office holds records on all aspects of the selection process for this appointment.

Mr. Maude: To ask the Solicitor-General what public appointments are made by (a) Ministers and (b) officials in the Law Officers' Departments. [312168]

The Solicitor-General: The information requested is as follows:

Communities and Local Government

Affordable Housing: Islington

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what funding his Department and its agencies provided for social housing in Islington in 2009-10; and how much such funding he expects to be allocated to Islington in 2010-11. [311607]

25 Jan 2010 : Column 561W

Mr. Ian Austin [holding answer 19 January 2010]: The Homes and Communities Agency will report in their annual report and financial statements spend through the National Affordable Housing Programme in 2009-10 after the end of the financial year.

In 2009-10 between April and November 2009 the HCA has made new allocations of over £78.6 million for schemes in Islington within the NAHP. The HCA are continuing to make allocations for this programme under their continuous market engagement process. In addition, some £4 million has also been allocated for schemes through the local authority new build programme in Islington.

Islington should receive approximately £60,803,000 in housing revenue account subsidy (HRAS) in 2009-10, based on their subsidy claims submitted during the year. The 2010-11 HRAS entitlement for Islington will not be known until the end of March 2010 when the first claim form for 2010-11 is due to be submitted.

Next Section Index Home Page