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24 Jun 2010 : Column 343W—continued

Deputy Prime Minister

General Elections: Alternative Vote

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what recent representations he has received on his proposal to hold a referendum on the alternative voting system for general elections. [4156]

Mr Harper: Representations have been received from those with an interest in the electoral system for general elections, including Members of Parliament and the public. The Government have set out their intention to introduce legislation providing for a national referendum on the alternative vote for future elections to the House of Commons, and will announce further details in due course.

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Energy and Climate Change


Charlotte Leslie: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change if he will undertake a review of the eligibility of biofuels sourced from palm oil and jatropha oil for renewables obligation certificates to ensure that those biofuels do not receive subsidies under that certification scheme. [3711]

Charles Hendry: A review of support levels for renewable electricity generation under the Renewables Obligation is scheduled to start in October 2010, and will include electricity and CHP generation from bioliquids (i.e. biofuels for electricity). I expect to consult publicly on any changes resulting following this review.

The Government are committed to the sustainability of bio-energy feedstocks. I expect to publish next month proposed sustainability criteria for bioliquids, based on the standards set in the Renewable Energy Directive, to be implemented in the Renewables Obligation.

Carbon Emissions

Liz Kendall: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change (1) what estimate his Department has made of the reduction in carbon dioxide emissions in the UK resulting from the introduction of a carbon floor price; [3579]

(2) what steps his Department has taken to assess the effects on electricity bills of the introduction of a carbon floor price; [3583]

(3) what assessment his Department has made of the energy (a) sectors and (b) companies which will benefit from the introduction of a carbon floor price. [3607]

Gregory Barker: The creation of a floor for the carbon price is an important commitment in the Programme of Government. As announced in the Budget, the Government will publish proposals in the autumn to reform the climate change levy in order to provide more certainty and support to the carbon price. Further detail will be published as part of the consultation process.

Departmental Official Cars

Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many (a) civil servants and (b) special advisers in his Department are entitled to the use of (i) a car with a dedicated driver, (ii) a car from the Government car pool and (iii) a taxi ordered through a departmental account. [3206]

Gregory Barker: There are no civil servants or special advisers who are entitled to the use of a car with a dedicated driver nor a car from the Government car pool.

Where groups have such accounts, staff are able to order a taxi through a departmental account in accordance with departmental guidelines.

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Departmental Translation Services

Ian Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what (a) documents and (b) other information for which (i) his Department and (ii) its associated public bodies are responsible are published or provided in the UK in languages other than English; for what reason each such publication is required to be made available in a language or languages other than English; and what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of the translation work so incurred in the latest period for which figures are available. [1779]

Gregory Barker: The annual Global Threat Reduction Report is translated into Russian each year, at a cost last year of £4,972. The report outlines the progress being made to address the nuclear, biological and chemical legacies in the countries of the Former Soviet Union (FSU).

The following documents were translated into Welsh for DECC in 2009-10, in accordance with the Welsh Language Act 1993:


Nuclear Consultations Annexes: Volumes 2 and 3


Non-Technical Summaries for AoS Reports on EN-1 to EN-5


Nuclear Consultations Annexes: Volumes 2 and 3


EN-1 Draft Overarching National Policy Statement for Energy


Renewables Consultation


EN-3 Draft National Policy Statement for Renewable Energy Generation


Household Energy Management


Gas Supply Infrastructure


Habitats Regulation Assessment for EN-1 to EN-5


Consultation on Financing of Nuclear Decommissioning; Consultation on Fixed Unit Price for Waste Disposal


EN-2 Draft National Policy Statement for Fossil Fuel Electricity Generating Infrastructure


Electricity Networks


Executive Summary; Fixed Unit Price


Nuclear Consultation


Executive Summary re regulation of gas and electricity networks


Miners Newsletter


Extending Carbon Emissions Reduction Target


Slides for NPS Presentation


Notices re Maximum Purchase Limit for Fuel


EN-5 Changes to English


Amendments to EN-4


The Health and Safety Executive paid £2,357.50 on DECC's behalf for the translation of the following document into Welsh, in 2009-10:

The following documents were translated into Welsh for Ofgem in 2009-10, in accordance with the Welsh Language Act 1993, at a total cost of £1,449:

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Electric Cables: Countryside

Andrew Percy: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change if he will bring forward proposals to reduce the visual effect of electricity pylons on the open countryside. [3921]

Gregory Barker: For new electricity network lines, it is for the regulatory price control and planning processes to determine the appropriate balance between need, cost and visual impact of electricity transmission towers (pylons) in each location.

Fuel Poverty

Karl Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what steps he plans to take to reduce fuel poverty; and how much funding will be provided for WarmFront from 2011 onwards. [3733]

Gregory Barker: Funding for the Warm Front scheme is just over £1.1 billion for the current three-year spending period to March 2011. This includes a cash provision of £345 million for 2010-11. Funding for future years will be considered as part of the spending review processes.

The Green Deal is a key element of our policy to improve household energy efficiency. We want the Green Deal to be relevant to all households. To this end we will ensure that as policy around the Green Deal develops, the needs of those in fuel poverty continue to be recognised.

Nuclear Power Stations: Construction

Graham Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what criteria have been set for companies investing in new build nuclear power plants. [4265]

Charles Hendry: Government's position on new nuclear power is clear. It is for the private sector energy companies to construct, operate and decommission new nuclear power plants, as long as they are subject to the normal planning process for major projects and that they receive no public subsidy. Operator's plans will also have to satisfy the independent safety regulators. The Government will complete the drafting of the Nuclear National Policy Statement and put it before Parliament which if approved will clear the way for planning applications for new nuclear.

Nuclear Power: Finance

Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how much has been spent on the (a) National Nuclear Laboratory, (b) National Nuclear Academy, (c) Nuclear Institute and (d) Office for Civil Nuclear Security in the last 10 years. [2346]

Charles Hendry: The information is as follows:

Spend on:

(a) The National Nuclear Laboratory

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(b) The Nuclear Academy

(c) The Nuclear Institute

(d) Office for Civil Nuclear Security

April to March each year £

2009- 10


2008- 09


2007- 08


Renewable Energy

Jeremy Lefroy: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change whether he plans to bring forward proposals for a renewable heat incentive. [4392]

Charles Hendry: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave my hon. Friend the Member for Sevenoaks (Michael Fallon) on 15 June 2010 , Official Report, columns 367-68W.


Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change when the next safety and environmental inspection of the 10 Transocean rigs operating in UK waters will be completed; and whether the inspection reports will be published. [3166]

Charles Hendry [holding answer 21 June 2010]: If Transocean rigs are operating in UK waters they will be subject to safety inspections by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and environmental inspection by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) Offshore Environmental Inspectorate.

HSE have informed DECC that their health and safety intervention plan for Transocean proposes at least one annual visit to every Transocean drilling rig working in UK waters. The planned health and safety inspections for 2010-11, subject to schedules and rig moves etc., are:

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The findings of any HSE offshore inspection are discussed with the offshore work force safety representatives at the conclusion of the visit, and they subsequently receive copies of any inspection letter.

DECC have confirmed that they completed environmental inspections of Transocean's Galaxy 4 and Arctic 4 Rigs during October 2009; the Sedco 711 Rig during March 2010 and the Paul Boyd Lloyd Junior during May 2010. DECC's Offshore Inspectorate also plan to visit the above HSE listed Transocean rigs as part of their series of prioritised environmental inspections to fixed installations and drilling rigs, subject to a risk based approach which takes into account operations being conducted. During 2008 DECC's Offshore Inspectorate completed an inspection campaign focused on industry drilling operations, the results of which are published on the DECC website. The inspections ensure that permit holders/operators have been, or are complying with the requirements, restrictions or prohibitions imposed upon them by the relevant statutory provisions.

Following a DECC environmental offshore inspection an inspection letter raising any issues will be sent to the permit holder/operator. These are currently publicly available upon request.

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