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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Davies of Oldham): In December 2008, Defra funded the "Impact Assessment of Energy Using Products (EuP) Implementing Measures for non-directional household lamps" as part of its work to transpose the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive into UK law. This assessment is available online in the Better Regulation Executive (BRE) library at: http://www.ialibrarv.berr.gov.uk.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will consider removing the requirement for approval through the Microgeneration Certification Scheme, together with product accreditation, for micro-hydro installations under the feed-in tariff regime, in light of the non-standard applications that apply to that technology, as recorded in section 1.3 of Analysis of the Feed-in Tariff responses to the Consultation on Renewable Electricity Financial Incentives 2009. [HL3041]
The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): The microgeneration certification scheme (MCS) is an important component of the feed-in tariff scheme (FITs) to ensure consumer protection. The Government have taken account of comments summarised in 1.3 of the analysis of responses to the FITs consultation.
The draft MCS installation standard (MIS 3006) currently being developed by the MCS micro-hydro expert working group was recently published on the MCS website. The consultation closed on 8 March 2010 and responses are being considered. The working group is aware of concerns that installations are non-standard and it is drafting the MCS standards to take account of this. The group will clarify the position on products shortly, when the MCS steering panel consults on the draft MCS product standard through http://www.microgenerationcertification.org.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their response to the comments of the Wildlife Trusts on the Severn Embryonic Technologies Scheme for the Severn estuary in their report Energy at any price? [HL3076]
The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): We will publish our assessment of the Severn Embryonic Technologies Scheme alongside the publication of the Severn Tidal Power Feasibility Study evidence base later this year.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the Department of Energy and Climate Change continues to use the 30 per cent onshore wind load factor assumption of the wind industry for planning purposes. [HL3165]
The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): The Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) does not use any one, single load factor assumption for onshore wind. Load factors may vary according to prevailing site conditions and technology used.
Analysis for DECC by Redpoint/Trilemma (2009)1 used load factors for onshore wind of 21 per cent (low), 27 per cent (medium) and 29 per cent (high). The Digest of UK Energy Statistics 2009 reports that average onshore wind load factors have varied between 26.7 per cent and 29.4 per cent over the period 2004 to 2008 (unchanged configuration basis).
To ask Her Majesty's Government what responses they received from the micro-hydro sector to their consultation on feed-in tariffs; and how they responded to the points made when formulating their policies. [HL3042]
The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): All the responses to the consultation have been published on the website of the Department for Energy and Climate Change, http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/consultations/elec_financial/elec_financial.aspx which is arranged to facilitate searching by type of response.
The Government response to the points made is available from the same website, www.decc.gov.uk/fits
To ask Her Majesty's Government how much the Equality and Human Rights Commission spent on (a) public relations consultants, and (b) public affairs consultants, in each of the last three years; and for what purposes. [HL2284]
The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Baroness Royall of Blaisdon): The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is independent and manages its own affairs; the following is based on information it has provided.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their response to the Law Society's recommendation in its July 2009 document EU Priorities for 2009-2014 for the creation of a "comply or explain" approach to corporate governance in the European Union single market. [HL3077]
To ask Her Majesty's Government what rules the Environment Agency considers when drawing up flood action plans that may adversely affect on the livelihood of persons in the area; how soon they inform those affected; and whether they provide support for them. [HL3011]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Davies of Oldham): The Environment Agency undertakes assessments to understand the social, environmental and economic impacts of flood management measures that it is considering, It actively consults landowners and occupiers on possible future decisions.
The Environment Agency follows its project appraisal guidance when considering the most appropriate flood management options. This guidance applies the higher level HM Treasury guidance on appraisal and evaluation in Central Government (The Greenbook) (2003) and Defra's policy statement on Appraisal of Flood and Erosion Risk Management (2009). Guidance on Catchment Flood Management Plans and Shoreline Management Plans also follows those high level guidelines.
A category four asset will have no economic or other reason to justify continued maintenance of the flood protection scheme. Where plans may include stopping maintenance, the Environment Agency provides support by offering practical advice on future options that may be a viable alternative. This could include the landowner. If maintenance is to cease, the period of notice to the landowner or occupier must be reasonable. This would normally be within six to 24 months. Longer periods may be appropriate in some instances as the definition of what is reasonable can depend on many factors.
The Environment Agency's approach to flood action plans is based on providing effective consultation within government guidelines. This approach has been developed in full consultation with Regional Flood Defence Committee chairs.
The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): People employed to work in government departments and their agencies, either directly or through a contractor, are required to satisfy requirements on identity, nationality and immigration status prior to the offer of employment.
There have been two occasions since its inception in October 2008 where compliance checks have found illegal immigrants working through an employment agency for the Department of Energy and Climate Change.
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord McKenzie of Luton on 3 March (WA 348), which festivals of Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism and Judaism were marked by ministerial video messages on the website of Communities and Local Government; and which Ministers broadcast each of those messages during 2009. [HL2869]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Department for Work and Pensions (Lord McKenzie of Luton): Further to my Written Answer to the noble Lord, the following festivals of Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Sikhism have been marked by ministerial video messages:
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Department for Work and Pensions (Lord McKenzie of Luton): It is for local planning authorities to designate new green belt or to enlarge existing green belts through the local plan process. Since 1997 the amount of green belt land in England has grown by around 34,000 hectares, if one disregards the re-classification of 47,300 hectares of green belt as New Forest National Park in 2005.
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by the Minister of State for Public Health, Gillian Merron, on 12 March (Official Report, Common, col. 562W), whether they will itemise their estimate of the costs of implementing the recommendations on compensation in Lord Archer of Sandwell's report on contaminated blood and blood products. [HL2876]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Baroness Thornton): Our initial estimate of £3 billion to 3.5 billion was based on an understanding that individual payments made in Ireland to infected patients ranged between £500,000 and £1 million, and was derived by multiplying the average of those figures by the estimated number of infected claimants in the United Kingdom. It did not take account of payments to dependents of those infected.
It is not possible to calculate an accurate figure for the cost of implementing the recommendations for compensation contained in Lord Archer's report because the Irish scheme uses a series of eligibility criteria, which means that different claimants have received different amounts of compensation, depending on their circumstances. Therefore, unless each UK claimant is assessed individually against the same criteria, it would be impossible to give an accurate figure. It is also not possible to estimate with any certainty how many people in the UK might be eligible to apply.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the number of people in the United Kingdom who use an insulin pump compared with the number of people who use an insulin pump in (a) Europe, and (b) the United States. [HL2858]
Baroness Thornton: There are currently no centrally held data on the number of people in the United Kingdom who use an insulin pump. We are unable to provide a direct comparison to the number of people using insulin pumps in other parts of Europe or the United States.
Baroness Thornton: The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) assesses the cost and benefits of treatments and provides guidance on best practice. We expect all clinicians to consider NICE guidance when making decisions with patients (and/or their parents or carer) about an individual's care pathway.
NICE guidance recommends pump therapy as an option for adults and children of 12 years and older with type 1 diabetes, provided that multiple-dose insulin therapy had failed and that those receiving the treatment could use it effectively.
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