2006

88224– Energy Crops – 25 July 2006

Mr. Grogan: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what support for growers of (a) miscanthus and (b) other energy crops will be provided after 31 July 2006.[88224]
Ian Pearson: DEFRA is currently considering how best to support energy crops under the new Rural Development Programme (RDP), which will come into operation in 2007. The RDP is a national programme but is part funded by the EU, so it will need to comply with the provisions of the EU Rural Development Regulation (RDR). Therefore, DEFRA is also in discussions with the Commission on how support for Energy Crops can continue under the RDP in 2007 and beyond.

The EU’s annual €45 per hectare Energy Aid payment is available to farmers for purpose-grown energy crops grown on non set-aside land. Farmers can also receive the single payment for purpose-grown energy crops on set-aside or where the EU’s €45 per hectare energy aid payment is claimed for crops on non set-aside land.

Support for energy crops is also provided by Research and Development funding from DEFRA. This underpins an expansion in the commercial breeding programme. The aim is to double the output of new varieties by developing crops with maximised yield and resistance to fungal diseases and pests.

89147 – Renewable Energy – 4 September 2006

Mr. Breed: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what estimate his Department has made of the amount of UK-sourced wood that would be consumed by co-fired power stations in each year between 2006 and 2012. [89147]

Malcolm Wicks: Under the Renewables Obligation, electricity suppliers are currently allowed to meet up to 10 per cent. of their Obligation from co-firing of biomass in fossil fuel stations. This will decrease to 5 per cent. for the 2011-12 compliance period—1 April to 31 March.

89042 – Renewable Energy – 4 September 2006

Mr. Martyn Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what percentage of the UK’s total biomass requirements were supplied from harvesting of energy crops in 2005-06 and what he expects this percentage to be in 2012. [89042]

Malcolm Wicks: Short rotation coppice and miscanthus accounted for approximately 0.1 per cent. of the biomass co-fired in the 2005-06 Renewables Obligation compliance period—1 April to 31 May. The Government do not hold data on the use of energy crops in dedicated biomass plant.

The Government are keen to encourage the greater use of energy crops in co-firing and the recent Energy Review Report (http://www.dti.gov.uk/energy/review/page31995.html) contains a number of proposals in this area. These will be subject to further consultation.

89041 – Renewable Energy – 4 September 2006

Mr. Martyn Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how much subsidy was paid to co-firing generators using wood supplies through the Renewables Obligation Certification Scheme in (a) 2002 and (b) 2005 and what estimate his Department has made of subsidy costs to co-firing generators in 2008. [89041]

Malcolm Wicks: Under the Renewables Obligation, electricity suppliers can meet up to a specified percentage of their obligation through co-firing. In 2002-03 and 2005-06, this was 25 per cent. and will be 10 per cent. for 2008-09.

88439– Large Combustion Plant Directive – 10 October 2006

Paddy Tipping – To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment he has made of the effects of the Large Combustion Plant Directive on (a) the use of biomass in energy generation and (b) the consequences for the wood panel industry.[88439]

Malcolm Wicks[holding answer 25 July 2006]: The Department does not consider that the Large Combustion Plant Directive is a significant factor affecting the use of biomass for energy generation, or the operation of the wood panel industry. That industry has, however expressed concern about co-firing.

95889 – Woodchips – 23 October 2006

Mr. Dai Davies:
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment his Department (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on the availability of woodchips for burning as a renewable fuel; whether he has assessed the impact of woodchip incineration on the wood panel industry; and what representations he has received from the Woodpanel Industries Federation in respect of industrial competition for woodchip stocks. [95889]

Malcolm Wicks: The DTI commissioned an independent report to aid understanding of the current and likely future impact of the Renewables Obligation (RO) on the wood-based panel industry relative to other factors affecting the commercial position of that industry; and to help the DTI develop a deeper understanding of the wood fuels/products supply chains as it applies to the wood-based panel industry and power generators. This report concluded in September 2005 that the RO has not had a major impact on the commercial competitiveness of the wood panel industry. A further report on the Economics of Co-firing examined the availability and economics of different renewable fuels including wood chips and wood residues. The report published on 9 October 2006 can be found at: http://www.dti.gov.uk/fi1es/file34449.pdf?pubpdfdload=06%2F1959

The Woodpanel Industries Federation has met with officials to discuss the impact of the RO on their industry.

99653– Softwood – 7 November 2006

Paddy Tipping: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will place in the Library a copy of the report “United Kingdom: New Forecast of Softwood Availability” published by the Forestry Commission in September. [99653]

Barry Gardiner: I will arrange for a copy of the report, which was published on the Forestry Commission’s website at http://www.forestrygov.uk/pdf/PF2005.pdf/$FILE/PF2005.pdf to be placed in the Library of the House.

99654 – Timber – 7 November 2006

Paddy Tipping:To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will take the conclusions of the Forestry Commission’s report United Kingdom: New Forecast of Softwood Availability into account in his Renewables Obligation Statutory Consultation to the Renewables Obligation Order 2007; and if he will make a statement. [99654]

Malcolm Wicks: The Government will consider the Forestry Commission’s report United Kingdom: New Forecast of Softwood Availability as part of the statutory consultation on the Renewables Obligation Order 2007. The consultation closes on 15 December. All responses and other relevant information will be considered together at that point.

100090/100089 – Softwood – 7 November 2006

Mr. Peter Atkinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what his most recent estimate is of the availability of UK sourced softwood; [100090]

(2) what assessment he has made of forecasts of available supplies of UK sourced softwood for power generation; and if he will make a statement. [100089]

Barry Gardiner: The new forecast of UK softwood availability was recently published on the Forestry Commission’s website. Table 1 from the report, reproduced as follows, shows the amount of material available to a stated top diameter, rather than by potential end use. The full report is available on the Commission website at: http://www.forestry.gov.uk/pdf/PF2005.pdf/$FILE/PF2005.pdf. I have arranged for a copy of the report to be placed in the Library of the House.

104229/104230/104232/104237/106336 – Forestry – 4 December 2006

Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what plans his Department has to increase new planting of forestry in the UK; and if he will make a statement; [104229]

(2) how much new planting of forest he expects the Government to complete by 2010; and what targets he has set; [104230]

(3) whether he plans to revise his targets for the new planting of forestry following the revision of the English and Scottish forestry strategies; [104232]

(4) what his targets are for the new planting of forest within the UK for the next five years; and what targets he has for each species of tree; [104237]

(5) what steps he plans to take to deliver the new targets for woodland habitat creation. [106336]

Barry Gardiner: My Department is responsible for woodlands in England only. At present, there are no specific targets for woodland creation in England. We have started to revise the England Forestry Strategy, and we are consulting on new proposals. Delivery of national priorities set out in the new Strategy (which we expect to publish next year), will result in an increase in overall woodland cover. However, we are still considering what an appropriate level of increase should be.

The area of new woodland created comes mainly from Forestry Commission grant aid planting, as well as planting by the Commission on the public forest estate. In addition a small area is planted each year without grant aid. A breakdown by tree species is not available.

Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment his Department has made of EU-wide comparisons of forestry cover; and if he will make a statement. [104231]

Barry Gardiner: The most recent EU-wide comparisons of forestry cover are contained in the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation’s Global Forest Resource Assessment 2005. This data is given in the following table (see full PQ for table).

104233/104234/104236 – Forestry – 4 December 2006

Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what plans he has to increase woodland cover in the UK as part of the EU Forest Action Plan; and if he will make a statement; [104233]

(2) what his Department’s budget is for the UK’s role in delivering the EU Forest Action Plan; [104234]

(3) what discussions he has had with other Government Departments regarding the EU Forest Action Plan. [104236]

Barry Gardiner: The EU Forest Action Plan was developed to help with the co-ordination of Community actions and the forest policies of individual member states by providing a better, more integrated framework. The Forestry Commission has lead responsibility within the UK.

Annual work programmes to facilitate delivery are not yet prepared or agreed in Brussels and the UK is not in a position to give any detailed information at present. However, the action plan does not set an optimum target for woodland cover.

Other Government Departments and the devolved administrations have been closely involved in the development of the action plan, and discussions have taken place through the International Forestry Group.

107365 – Forestry Commission – 11 December 2006

Mr. Martyn Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will revise the terms of reference of the statutory consultation on the Renewables Obligation Order 2007 to take account of the Forestry Commission’s most recent figures on the peak value of softwood availability; and if he will make a statement. [107365]

Malcolm Wicks: A statutory consultation on the Renewables Obligation Order 2007 began on 9 October 2006. It is available in full through the following link:

http://www.dti.gov.uk/consultations/page34162.html

The Government will consider the Forestry Commission’s report “United Kingdom: New Forecast of Softwood Availability” as part of the statutory consultation on the Renewables Obligation Order 2007. The consultation closes on 15 December 2006. All responses and other relevant information will be considered together at that point.

107519 – Softwood – 11 December 2006

Mr. Peter Atkinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will meet representatives from the wood panel industry to discuss the lower forecasts of softwood availability. [107519]

Malcolm Wicks: Officials are meeting with the wood panel industry to discuss the Renewables Obligation (RO). A consultation on changes to the RO began on9 October 2006 and will close on 5 January 2007. The Government will consider the Forestry Commission’s report United Kingdom: New Forecast of Softwood Availability as part of the consultation on the RO. The consultation is available through the following link:

http://www.dti.gov.uk/consultations/page34162.html

107520 – Timber – 13 December 2006

Mr. Peter Atkinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will meet representatives from the wood panel industry to discuss forecasts of softwood availability. [107520]

Barry Gardiner[holding answer 11 December 2006]: The forecasts of softwood availability are prepared and published by the Forestry Commission with assistance from the Forest Service, Northern Ireland. I have no plans to meet representatives of the wood panel industry. Any questions about the forecast should be addressed to the Forestry Commission.

108762 – Softwood – 14 December 2006

Paddy Tipping: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the effect of the reduction of forecast volume of available supplies of UK sourced softwood on (a) the wood panel industry and (b) other biomass using industry; and if he will make a statement. [108762]

Barry Gardiner: I have not made any assessment. The recent UK softwood availability forecast, published by the Forestry Commission, provides improved and more up to date supply information than was previously available. This should enable any detailed industry appraisals that need to take into account the potential supply of UK softwood to be better informed.

108761 – Energy Review – 18 December 2006

Paddy Tipping: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment he has made of the effect of the reduction of forecast volume of available supplies of UK sourced softwood on the Government’s policy on co-firing as part of the Energy Review; and if he will make a statement. [108761]

Malcolm Wicks[holding answer 14 December 2006]: As part of the Energy Review, the Government announced some proposed changes to the Renewables Obligation (RO). Following this, a consultation on the RO began on 9 October 2006. It is available in full through the following link:

http://www.dti.gov.uk/consultations/page34162.html

The Government will consider the Forestry Commission’s report United Kingdom: New Forecast of Softwood Availability as part of the consultation on the Renewables Obligation. The consultation closes on 15 December 2006 for the Renewables Obligation Order 2007. All responses and other relevant information will be considered together at this point.

109769 – Wood Fibre Report – 19 December 2006

Paddy Tipping: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the implications of the report Forecast Wood Fibre availability and demand in Scotland and Northern England for 2016, published by John Clegg Consulting Ltd. in November 2006; and if he will make a statement. [109769]

Barry Gardiner: This is an independent report to which the Forestry Commission contributed. The study provides an overview of the supply and demand position to help guide both the strategic investment decisions made by industry and the development of forestry policy, which in the case of Scotland is a devolved matter. Publication of the report has been welcomed by the Forestry Commission.

Comments are closed.