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Volume 170: debated on Friday 30 March 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will make a statement on the time limits for claims arising from coal mining subsidence damage.

My Department has been discussing with British Coal the need for improved guidance for those householders affected by damage arising from coal mining subsidence. We intend to publish in the near future a new leaflet setting out claimants' rights. This will incorporate a unified approach to handling subsidence claims that has been voluntarily adopted by British Coal and which, in the Government's view, will give claimants the more advantageous elements of the two existing statutes governing such claims in anticipation of the enactment of new legislation. As regards time limits for making claims, British Coal has agreed to accept claims within six years of the damage occurring or within six years from which it would have been reasonable for a claimant to have known that damage had occurred.

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what are the total public funds allocated for research and development on (a) nuclear energy, (b) solar energy, (c) wind energy, (d) tidal wave energy, (e) hydro-electric energy and (f) other alternative sources of energy, for each year since 1976.

The figures requested are as follows (all figures in £ million):

1 Nuclear expenditure figures are D/Energy expenditure only: figures before 1986–87 include some non-R and D expenditure.

2 Hydro expenditure not separately identified until 1987–88.

3 All renewables 0·3.

4 All renewables 1·3.


  • 1. Figures for 1989–90 are forecasts.
  • 2. The table incorporates expenditure on renewable energy by Government Departments, SERC, NERC, and CEGB.
  • 3. Renewables expenditure for 1976–77 and 1977–78 includes energy conservation expenditure.