HC Deb 19 March 1979 vol 964 c1071
1. Mr. Ronald Atkins

asked the Secretary of State for Energy what he estimates the percentage cut in United Kingdom oil demand would be if the Central Electricity Generating Board replaced oil with coal.

The Under-Secretary of State for Energy (Mr. Alex Eadie)

It is not possible for the CEGB to replace all its oil with coal, but it will make a substantial contribution towards our International Energy Agency undertaking to reduce oil demand by 5 per cent.

Mr. Atkins

It is intended, instead of using oil, to burn as much coal as possible? If so, is my hon. Friend satisfied that there is sufficient rolling stock on the railways to deal with the extra coal? There have been reports of a shortage.

Mr. Eadie

The intention is to burn more coal, but that will depend on a number of factors. The aim would be about 5½ million tonnes, which would give a burn of about 80 million tonnes. There is a problem of rolling stock on the railways, and a meeting is taking place between those concerned to try to resolve that.

Mr. Hannam

How much extra cost will be involved in subsidies to the CEGB if the switch to coalburn is achieved?

Mr. Eadie


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