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Electricity Supply

Volume 176: debated on Friday 13 July 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what instructions he has given to the Non-Fossil Fuel Purchasing Agency on the authorisation of contracts signed by public electricity suppliers with non-fossil non-nuclear generators at above pool price.

My right hon. Friend has given no such instructions. The commercial terms offered by the public electricity suppliers to generators seeking to contract within the non-fossil fuel obligation are a matter for the suppliers.

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what representations he has received from potential producers of non-fossil non-nuclear electricity regarding the maximum length of power supply contract and price of electricity to be produced from those sources.

My right hon. Friend has received a number of representations. However, the legislation permits a fair degree of flexibility which can be used to secure bankable contracts and the public electricity suppliers have been able to take account of this in their negotiations with renewables generators.

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what consultations he has had with the European Commission regarding the length of contract and premium price above pool to be paid for electricity generating from renewable sources (a) before and (b) after 1 April 1998.

I refer the hon. Member to the "Note by the Department of Energy on the undertakings given by the Government in relation to the future of the fossil fuel levy", which has now been published as appendix 11 to volume 2 of the report by the Select Committee on Energy on "The cost of nuclear power".

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what consultations he has had with (a) producers of renewable electricity and (b) the Non-Fossil Fuel Purchasing Agency regarding (i) intermittent renewables and (ii) continuous renewable electricity sources on the length of contracts and price to be paid by the public electricity suppliers.

The commercial terms offered to projects seeking to contract within the non-fossil fuel obligation are a matter for the public electricity suppliers. The legislation provides them with the flexibilities they need in order to be able to offer bankable contracts, and I understand that they have taken account of those flexibilities where appropriate.