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21 Oct 2009 : Column WA67



21 Oct 2009 : Column WA67

Written Answers

Wednesday 21 October 2009

Climate Change: Carbon Dioxide Emissions

Question

Asked by Lord Kirkwood of Kirkhope

The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): As required by the Climate Change Act 2008, the Government will respond to the Committee on Climate Change's first annual progress report by 15 January 2010. The UK Low Carbon Transition Plan, published in July 2009, sets out how our carbon budgets and targets for the period 2008 to 2022 will be met. Projections of future emissions published alongside the transition plan show annual reductions in line with those the committee says are required to meet the current carbon budgets.

Death Certificates

Questions

Asked by Lord Thomas of Gresford

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): A high level forecast of the cost of introducing short death certificates indicates costs in the order of £130,000. Broadly these costs would cover changes to the software used by registrars in England and Wales and provision of an additional supply of serially numbered secure stationery.

Asked by Lord Thomas of Gresford

Lord West of Spithead: The software used by registrars would need to be amended to extract relevant information from the record of a death to be printed on a certificate form.



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Embryology

Question

Asked by Lord Jones of Cheltenham

Baroness Thornton: Stem cell therapy for pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) remains an experimental approach and is not a proven treatment. There have been a small number of peer-reviewed articles in scientific journals that point to a potential role for stem cells in the treatment of PAH, but much more laboratory and clinical research is needed ahead of any definitive proof of efficacy or safety.

The department is aware of a growing number of unlicensed and unproven stem cell products that are being marketed to patients over the internet from overseas "clinics". Regrettably, such marketing falls outside the jurisdiction of medicines legislation in the United Kingdom. The department, NHS Choices and the Gene Therapy Advisory Committee have all issued warnings and provided advice on their respective websites for anyone who may be considering such "stem cell treatments".

Energy: Carbon Budgets

Question

Asked by Lord Kirkwood of Kirkhope

The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): As required by the Climate Change Act 2008, the Government will respond to the Committee on Climate Change's first annual progress report by 15 January 2010. Departments with a carbon budget will set out their approach to monitoring delivery of emissions reductions in their forthcoming carbon reduction delivery plans. These will include milestones and indicators against which progress will be measured and will be informed by the committee's advice.

Energy: Efficiency

Questions

Asked by Lord Kirkwood of Kirkhope



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The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): DECC, CLG and Defra are the departments responsible for deploying the additional funding in England. After applying Barnett consequentials in respect of the devolved Administrations, progress in deploying the additional funding in England is as follows:

£84 million was allocated for 2009-10 and 2010-11 to the Carbon Trust through DECC for loans to small and medium-sized businesses to improve their energy efficiency. As of 8 October 18 per cent of that funding has been committed. A small proportion of funding will be used for administrative costs;£55 million was allocated for 2009-10 to the Carbon Trust Salix Scheme in England which provides loans for around 3,000 energy saving projects in schools, hospitals and other public sector institutions; to date it has committed 45 per cent. A small proportion of funding will be used for administrative costs;a further £84 million is being deployed by the Homes and Communities Agency for social housing through the Social Housing Energy Saving Programme. This programme is geared to help social landlords insulate hard-to-treat cavity walls that would not otherwise be filled under the Decent Homes programme. Eighty per cent of the money will be spent this financial year;£100 million was allocated to CLG for the construction of new homes at higher energy efficiency standards as part of the housing package; and£8 million was allocated to Defra for new grants to businesses to deliver anaerobic digestion and composting, providing capacity to remove 316,000 tonnes of waste from landfill, reducing local government and business waste disposal costs.

Asked by Lord Kirkwood of Kirkhope

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: Of the £70 million allocated in the 2009 Budget to support decentralised small-scale and community low-carbon energy schemes, £25 million was made available to fund community heating infrastructure in the UK.

£20.96 million is being administered by the Homes and Communities Agency in support of community heating schemes in England. All available funding has been allocated to 14 schemes. The remainder of the £25 million was made available to devolved Administrations using the Barnett formula. More information on the 14 schemes being supported by the HCA is available at www.homesandcommunities.co.uk/low-carbon-infrastructure.

An additional £45 million has been made available to the Low Carbon Building Programme in the Budget 2009. Funding will be split across the next two years, with £30 million allotted for year 2009-10 and £15 million for year 2010-11. LCBP offers capital funds for small

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scale onsite energy generation. The scheme is administered by EST and BRE. For further information about this programme go to www.lowcarbonbuildings.org.uk.

Asked by Lord Kirkwood of Kirkhope

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: Free or subsidized insulation is delivered to UK homes through a variety of schemes; these are the Carbon Emissions Reduction target (CERT), the Community Energy Saving Programme (CESP), the Social Housing Energy Saving Programme (SHESP), Warm Front and Decent Homes. Measures include loft, cavity wall, and solid wall insulation treatments.

Between January and June 2009 insulation was delivered to approximately 900,000 homes under the full range of schemes; in total more than 1.6 million homes will benefit from insulation measures by December 09.

For 2010 we estimate that more than 1.6 million homes will receive insulation treatment through the various schemes.

Asked by Lord Kirkwood of Kirkhope

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: The Government fund two schemes specifically to help businesses reduce energy use by supporting the replacement of capital stock:

a loan scheme for small and medium-sized businesses, which provides interest-free loans of up to £400,000 to purchase energy-saving equipment. A wide range of technologies are eligible for the scheme; andthe enhanced capital allowance scheme provides tax relief for businesses on their purchase of energy-saving plant and machinery from a designated list of almost 14,000 items spanning 15 technologies.

In addition, the Government fund the Carbon Trust to provide advice to businesses on energy efficiency; and a range of government policies (such as the forthcoming CRC energy efficiency scheme) provide additional incentives for businesses to reduce energy use.

Energy: Low-carbon Generation

Question

Asked by Lord Kirkwood of Kirkhope



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The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): The low carbon transition plan sets out how the Government are seeking to maintain the right conditions for investment in low-carbon power generation. At the heart of the plan is the EU Emissions Trading System which sets a declining limit or "cap" for emissions.

The most effective way of strengthening the carbon price is by limiting the supply of allowances by tightening the cap. The UK Government are working hard to deliver an international climate agreement in Copenhagen later this year. If we achieve the right agreement, the EU has pledged to increase our target from a 20 per cent to a 30 per cent reduction on 1990 emissions. This would lead to a significant tightening of the EU ETS cap.

However, the carbon price is not the complete answer. The low carbon transition plan also sets out other steps the Government are taking to remove barriers to the development and deployment of low-carbon technologies with policies to:

produce around 30 per cent of our electricity from renewables; fund up to four demonstrations of carbon capture and storage; and facilitate the building of new nuclear power stations.

Energy: Nuclear Waste

Questions

Asked by Lord Jenkin of Roding

The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): The Energy Act 2008 requires operators of new nuclear power stations to have a funded decommissioning programme, approved by my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, in place before construction of a new nuclear power station begins and to comply with this programme thereafter.

The funded decommissioning programme prepared by the operator of a new nuclear power station must include details of the operator's plans for the management of their spent fuel.

In February 2008 the Government published the Consultation on Funded Decommissioning Programme Guidance for New Nuclear Power Stations. In this consultation the Government set out a base case, a means by which waste may be managed and disposed of and decommissioning carried out that will be costed by or on behalf of the Secretary of State. This included a number of assumptions in relation to the management and disposal of spent fuel.

Operators of new nuclear power stations will be expected to have regard to the base case when developing the programme they will submit to the Government, but there will be flexibility to allow operators to propose other effective ways of dealing with decommissioning

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and waste management if they choose to do so. Operators' funded decommissioning programmes will be considered on a case-by-case basis. When considering whether to approve an operator's programme, the Secretary of State will have regard to whether it achieves the overall outcome of ensuring a prudent means for carrying out and estimating the costs of waste management, disposal and decommissioning.

It is anticipated that an updated base case will be included in the final funded decommissioning programme guidance, which is expected to be published in spring 2010.

Asked by Lord Jenkin of Roding

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: It is anticipated that the consultation on a draft methodology for establishing an indicative fixed unit price for the disposal of intermediate level waste and spent fuel from new nuclear power stations will be launched before the end of 2009.

Asked by Lord Jenkin of Roding

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: The Energy Act 2008 requires operators of new nuclear power stations to have a funded decommissioning programme, approved by my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, in place before construction of a new nuclear power station begins and to comply with this programme thereafter.

It is anticipated that operators will request that the Government provide them with a fixed unit price at the time they seek approval for their funded decommissioning programme. This will occur alongside the regulators' licensing and permitting processes. To help future operators with their planning, the Government would expect to give operators a non-binding indicative price at an earlier date than when the Government would be willing to provide them with a final fixed unit price.

The Government would expect to enter into an agreement with the operator, once the fixed unit price for the waste disposal service, the schedule for the Government to take title to and liability for the waste and spent fuel and a schedule of payments have been set. This agreement would cover issues such as the abort or termination costs that would be payable by the operator if it later chose not to use the Government waste disposal service.



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Energy: Oil

Question

Asked by Lord Avebury

The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): The G8 has this year discussed a range of energy issues, but had no discussion relating to any particular forecasts of demand for oil.

Energy: Renewables

Questions

Asked by Lord Taylor of Holbeach


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