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Renewable Energy

Volume 410: debated on Friday 19 September 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what measures she has put in place to develop the electricity grid to support the development of renewable energy resources. [131262]

:The Government are clear that the electricity grid network needs to be developed to support more renewable generation. It is working closely with Ofgem to ensure that the costs of this required work is spread across the whole of the GB consumer base. An important part of this process will be the British Electricity Trading and Transmission Arrangements (BETTA), and these are currently under development.The Government are committed to bringing forward legislation in time to implement BETTA in April 2005. Through the Transmission Issues Working Group, Government meet with Ofgem, the Scottish Executive, the Wales Assembly Government and the Transmission Assets Owners to review the progress of this important work. Already an early success is the start of the required planning work required to strengthen transmission lines in Scotland to accommodate an initial 2 GW of new renewable generation.

:To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make proposals concerning the renewable obligation under the renewable energy policy to (a) change the wording defining biomass and (b) exclude raw material from this definition. [131308]

:We have no plans to change the definition of biomass in the way suggested.A Statutory Consultation, "The Renewables Obligation (Amendment) Order 2003", was published on 29 August 2003. Its main focus is a set of modifications to the co-firing rules to enhance the prospects for energy crops without a radical change to the Obligation. Consultation closes on 21 November 2003.

:To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what progress has been made towards the 2010 targets of electricity sales from licensed electricity suppliers coming from eligible renewable sales. [131309]

:In 2002, 1.7 per cent. of electricity sales from licensed electricity suppliers came from sources eligible for the Renewables Obligation; the comparable figure for 2001 was 1.5 per cent.In 2002, 3.0 per cent. of electricity generated in the UK came from all renewable sources; the comparable figure for 2001 was 2.6 per cent.

:To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) if she will make a statement on the implications for the future of renewable obligation certificate trading following the recent demise of TXU; [130519](2) if she will make an assessment of the performance of renewable obligation certificate trading. [130520]

[holding answer 17 September 2003]: Renewables Obligation Certificate trading is a matter for the electricity industry.

VAT registrations 1997–2001, number and rate
United Kingdom182,570186,250178,460183,325175,455
North East Government Office Region4,1704,2154,2304,2804,050
Tyne and Wear Metropolitan county1,8251,750,1,7851,8001,675
South Tyneside190185205180175
Rate per 10,000 resident adults1
United Kingdom4040383937
North East Government Office Region2121212120
Tyne and Wear Metropolitan county2120212119
South Tyneside1515171514
1Mid-year resident adults (aged 16 and over)


Business Start-ups and Closures: VAT Registrations and De-registrations 1994–2001

We are aware of the electricity industry's concerns regarding the consequences of TXU going into administration and the implications of a potential shortfall in the Renewables Buy-out Fund for the value of Renewables Obligation Certificates and the level of confidence in the renewables market.

My officials are in discussion with the industry at present to discuss the implications of the potential shortfall and consider options for resolving the issue. I understand that officials from Ofgem are in discussion with the TXU administrator on compliance with the obligation.