HC Deb 25 July 1949 vol 467 cc1811-2
53. Mr. Keeling

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power what is the estimated annual saving of coal from the hydro-electricity schemes in North Wales proposed by the British Electricity Authority.

Mr. Gaitskell

I understand from the British Electricity Authority that the esti- mated additional annual output which will be obtained from the extension of the existing catchment area at Dolgarrog and Maentwrog now proposed is 36 million units which, at the present average consumption of coal in thermal stations, would represent an annual saving of 24,000 tons of coal.

If the six major new schemes which are at present being investigated were developed, it is estimated that a further additional average annual output of 520 million units would be obtained which would be equivalent on the same basis of calculation to about 350,000 tons of coal.

Mr. Keeling

As it would take 10 or 12 years to complete these schemes, does the answer mean that the National Coal Board have no hope of being able to produce enough coal within 10 or 12 years to make this ruination of yet another of the national parks unnecessary?

Mr. Gaitskell

No, Sir. The Question addressed to me simply related to the amount of coal that would be saved. The hon. Member should not assume that the National Coal Board are in any way concerned with the project.