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Renewable Energy

Volume 404: debated on Tuesday 29 April 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement on plans to upgrade the UK's transmission system to accommodate increased capacity coming from renewable energy; and how this will affect (a) the export interconnector between Scotland and England and (b) existing coal and nuclear power stations in Scotland. [109232]

The Scottish Transmission Companies have recently announced that they will start advanced planning work on strengthening the transmission infrastructure in Scotland to accommodate the potential of renewable energy in Scotland. As such the increased potential generation has no direct impact on the export interconnector between Scotland and England or the existing coal and nuclear power stations in Scotland.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement on the role of Scotland in contributing to the UK meeting its renewable energy obligations; and how she intends to accommodate increased renewable capacity in Scotland. [109233]

Adding to its established strength in hydro power, Scotland is poised to make a major contribution to the expansion of renewable energy in the UK. Major new wind farms are in prospect and scope for the development of wave and tidal energy is being explored.These renewable resources will often be located in less populated areas in the north and west of Scotland. We will need to transform the electricity transmission network to allow for this new generation to be delivered to customers. I shall shortly be publishing the report of the Transmission Issues Working Group which has costed the option of connecting up to 6GW of new renewable energy generation in Scotland. The Scottish Transmission Companies have recently announced that they will start advanced planning work on strengthening the transmission infrastructure in Scotland to accommodate the potential of renewable energy in Scotland.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what her estimate is of the (a) installed capacity of onshore wind turbines in Great Britain and (b) average annual output generated by those turbines. [109848]

The available information shows that in 2001 the installed capacity of onshore wind turbines in Great Britain was 388 MW and that these turbines generated 853 GWh of electricity.