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Energy Prices

Volume 586: debated on Wednesday 22 October 2014

7. What discussions he has had with businesses in Wales on the effects of energy prices on their international competitiveness. (905494)

10. What discussions he has had with businesses in Wales on the effects of energy prices on their international competitiveness. (905500)

We are a Government who listen to business and take action to support business. We have introduced a package of support to tackle the rising costs of energy. Wales Office Ministers have hosted two round-table discussions with energy-intensive industries in Wales to listen to their views on energy prices.

Yesterday, more electricity was generated by wind turbines than by nuclear power. Instead of putting money into expensive French nukes, why do we not help business by investing in unused Welsh tidal power, which is infinitely available, absolutely predictable, clean, green, British and belongs to us?

The hon. Gentleman makes an important point. The UK needs a diverse range of energy sources. He mentioned tidal power, and there are some exciting projects around Wales at the moment. That is something I want to be closely involved with.

Tata Steel is a much-valued local employer in Shotton, where it produces high-quality coated products. However, it is competing against foreign companies that have much lower energy costs. What talks has the Minister had with the Department of Energy and Climate Change to address that issue and create a more level playing field?

The hon. Gentleman raises an important issue. In recent Budgets, the Chancellor has set out important measures that will make a difference, such as capping the carbon floor price and dealing with the indirect costs of the EU emissions trading system and the renewables obligation.